An international accountancy and business consultancy firm has leased nearly 17,000 sq ft in what is the largest office letting in Southampton city centre for six years.
AVASK Accounting is moving into Oceana House at 39-49 Commercial Road, opposite Southampton Railway Station and the Mayflower Theatre, in a deal through property consultancy Vail Williams LLP.
The rent is £21 a square foot for the fully refurbished Grade A offices, with AVASK Accounting signing a 10-year lease on the first and fourth floors totalling 16,700 sq ft, together with a private roof terrace.
Legal firm Womble Bond Dickinson, a long-standing anchor tenant, occupies the third and second floors, with two ground-floor suites, from 1,800 sq ft, remaining.
Will Elgeti, a surveyor at the Solent offices of Vail Williams’ transactional team, advised on the letting, alongside partner Russell Mogridge for the landlord, Fidelity UK Real Estate Fund.
Elgeti said: “The letting of two floors at Oceana House to AVASK, at £21 a sq ft, is the largest office letting in the city centre for six years and is a tangible indication of the appetite by expanding companies for quality workspace. Industry research shows that Southampton’s economy is forecast to rise by 1.7% this year and is set to outgun the predicted UK average.
“Headline rents of £21 a sq ft for Grade A offices in the city centre are increasingly likely to become the norm against this backdrop and are still very affordable compared to most south east towns.”
Led by directors Melanie V Shabangu and Dr Angelos Katsaris, AVASK is moving from its current premises at nearby 4 Carlton Crescent.
There are also offices in Richmond, South-West London, Germany, France, Italy, Los Angles in North America and Shenzhen, Xiamen and Hangzhou, China.
Shabangu said: “Oceana House provides us with the ideal location for our rapidly growing business, offering large light and airy open plan office spaces with car parking a stone’s throw from the railway station. We were delighted to have secured the offices in just six weeks from instructing our locally based solicitor David Lee at RM Legal.”
Russell Mogridge, partner and head of the Solent Transactional Team for Vail Williams, said: “It’s testament to our client in reacting to market demand for high-quality office space in the city centre by investing in the building, creating an attractive office environment with a wonderful central atrium and manned reception, together with under-cover cycle stores, showers and lockers. There’s no doubt the last remaining suites will let quickly.”
Vail Williams has offices across England, including at Ocean Village in Southampton and Lakeside North Harbour in Portsmouth, and works with landlords, occupiers, developers and property investors.