Is there a role for offices on the high street?
The High Street is changing. The metamorphosis over the last few decades has seen this centre of civilisation develop almost beyond recognition. Once the only place you shopped, abundant with greengrocers and bakeries, the high street has changed to be a more service-oriented zone, boasting hair cuts and eateries instead of shops supplying basic items.
We believe there is certainly a role for offices in the high street, and the influx of people daily will help boost local sales and increase foot traffic in the area. Transport links to town centres are often well developed, offering easy access for workers.
The popularity of mixed use buildings has experienced a surge in recent years. Once reserved for community services, mixed use buildings are now becoming popular as a place for offices to co-exist with retail units and leisure facilities.
The mixed use model is an interesting use of space, especially when in high rise buildings. Take The Shard for example, where office space sits alongside (or above) restaurant and leisure facilities. Other buildings see residential and leisure mixed together, whilst offices combined with gyms and eateries are another winning combination.
Mixed use models are an efficient use of space in prime locations but also offer benefits to the users of the buildings too.
On the other hand, a purpose built industrial complex could offer alternative benefits to organisations and workers. Generally situated outside of town centres, a business park offers different options, such as more land readily available for parking, space to build what your business needs as well as the potential for warehouse or factory space. Transport links in general support large scale distribution, whereas articulated vehicle access to the high street could be limited.
However, watch this space. Many councils are bringing the mixed use model to the business parks, which makes perfect sense. A small local supermarket is an ideal place for an office worker to buy their lunch, or a local gym could help businesses attract talent. Keep tuned to your local government to find out what developments could be happening near to you!