React News has reported on two significant London office refurbishments/developments in the past week.
The first is the planned 300,000 sq ft revamp of the former HQ of Goldman Sachs, Peterborough Court at 133 Fleet Street. The second is Kings Cross Central and The Office Group's 170,000 sq ft new flexible working space building on the Kings Cross Estate.
On the latter they report that the Kings Cross CEO is "banking on the trend towards hybrid working continuing". The Kings Cross building is due to be completed in 2024 and will be designed to include private areas for workers needing "visual privacy and acoustic privacy" - presumably meaning that the expectation is that the use of videoconferencing will continue even once people start returning to offices.
The Peterborough Court refurbishment is due to be done speculatively in response to a perceived shortage of new office space completing in 2023.
There will be flexible floor plates of between 16,000 sq ft and 34,000 sq ft and React News reports that the scheme has "incorporated post-Covid thinking into their base build design". It is not clear what exactly this means but it is understood that the scheme will include offices, ground floor retail, leisure and open spaces designed in a sustainable way and to include smart technology.
Peterborough Court had been the subject of discussions with WeWork to become their largest co-working office in London. However these plans were abandoned by WeWork in January 2020.
Robert Evans, chief executive of the King’s Cross estate, said: “People will return and businesses will be in central London if the offer is good enough. In the end, you can’t do everything at home.”