Mark Glatman Chief Executive of the Abstract Group today comments on the total solution the Leonardo Building brings amid the blight caused to 750,000 sq ft of offices around Gatwick Airport by the Gatwick Obviously campaign, for a second runway and the effect that this will have on the market. 

The comment comes after development company, Abstract (Crawley) Ltd, commenced on-site construction works last month for its next highly competitive speculative office development, 'The Leonardo Building’, Manor Royal, south of Gatwick Airport.

The Leonardo Building is a ‘Grade A’ office building comprising 110,000 sq ft together with over 300 car parking spaces. The site is the last undeveloped plot at Crawley Business Quarter just South of Gatwick Airport and opposite the offices of Virgin Atlantic and Boeing. Other nearby occupiers includes Doosan Power Systems, Tui Travel plc, Thales and Elekta.

Mark Glatman, Chief Executive of Abstract, comments on the plans for the second runway and how Sir Howard Davies, Chair of the Government’s Airports Commission will give his input on the runway plans in summer 2015 as part of an investigation into runway capacity in the south east of England.

Mark Glatman said: “The possibility is that this blight could turn into a ‘you lose your building’ scenario for those companies within the enlarged airport site, and we are currently offering the only new building in the locality – the Leonardo Building offers total certainty. Landlords who own affected sites might be dismissive of the repercussions of the second runway, saying ‘it’s not a problem’, but it is a problem.”

He continued: “The timing of the eventual decision and diggers actually making a start on site could be years out. At the moment, everything is blighted until next July, while we wait to see what happens. Whatever the decision, whether in Gatwick’s favour or not, there are probably going to be another 2 or 3 years of arguing and uncertainty. What that means is that the land around Gatwick Airport that will be affected by the runway is effectively going to be blighted for a considerable amount of time.”

Mark Glatman finished: “The Leonardo Building sits outside the proposed land take for the airport and offers occupiers absolute certainty in terms of their business needs and an opportunity to secure great quality new offices in a location which is unaffected. Our building is more competitively priced than existing older buildings and offers a total solution irrespective of the future plans for a second runway at Gatwick Airport. It is not just companies within the exclusion zone that will be affected, as companies looking at their property requirements who are outside the zone will also be subject to a market which will have little supply and increasing demand.”

In line with all Abstract developments, The Leonardo Building will target a BREEAM 'Excellent' standard and an EPC ‘B’ Rating together with building design occupancy from 1 person per 6 sq m which will maximise the operational efficiency of the accommodation. Depending on occupational density the cost per workstation per annum could be as low as £2,300.

The scheme will comprise a TP Bennett design of four floors offering flexible, virtually column free floor plates each of circa 28,000 sq ft. The property will have an end investment value of around £45m and be able to accommodate up to 1,700 staff when it completes during the last quarter of 2015.

The building is one of several speculative office developments that Abstract Securities has recently undertaken across the UK.

Having completed the 100,000 sq ft ‘Renaissance’ development in Croydon in November 2013, which was fully let within 10 months, Abstract is currently on site in Glasgow where it is in the final stages of speculatively building the 170,000 sq ft ‘St Vincent Plaza’ office development, which will complete in Spring 2015.

In conjunction with Aker ASA, Abstract is also currently developing 1 million sq ft of offices at Aberdeen International Business Park, where the first phase of 335,000 sq ft is due to complete in February 2015 and where the biggest office letting ever in Scotland has been announced.

Agents for The Leonardo Building are Knight Frank, Savills and Stiles Harold Williams. For more information visit www.theleonardobuilding.com


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