When identifying the criteria for a new office location, proximity to a large public transport hub is almost certainly going to be high up on most occupier’s wish lists. After giving consideration to the rent level the next obvious question for out of town occupiers looking at moving into a city centre is ‘how close is the nearest train station’? and ‘how long will it take us to get the work’?
We knew that connectivity would be key to the success of 101 Embankment and have put together the infographic below to demonstrate just how accessible it is, both from local stations and further afield.
Embankment is practically on the doorstep of the newly refurbished Manchester Victoria Station, which will provide occupiers with access to 198 stations and 1.6m people within a 60-minute commute based on journeys arriving by 9am.
These statistics will be further enhanced by the completion of the Ordsall Chord rail link in December this year, which will provide a direct connection to the city’s main rail terminus, Piccadilly Station, and will also bring faster and more frequent services to other northern cities as well as Manchester Airport. This is an important step in giving the north the urban scale and mass it needs to compete with other European cities.
Consideration is also given by occupiers to bus, bicycle and tram routes too. Embankment is only a four-minute walk to two tram stops on the Metrolink system, Victoria and Exchange Square, where more than 30 million journeys were made last year. The Metrolink is undergoing a £1.5bn upgrade to provide a second city crossing, a journey which will soon be made in minutes.
The City’s free Metroshuttle bus also stops right outside Embankment, providing a convenient, free service across the city from Victoria, Oxford Road, Deansgate and Piccadilly Stations.
Developing quality office accommodation within a close proximity to these prime city centre transport hubs is therefore essential to capture this trend. However, many people do still drive either through choice or necessity and we are lucky to have a 442-space Q-Park car park at Embankment too.
A property development within close proximity to a multimodal transport hub is likely to be of interest to more occupiers because it has a much larger staff catchment population. We have certainly found that it has been one of the key talking points about Embankment and we believe that, aside for the high specification of the building, it is a key selling point.
For most workers there is a maximum commute threshold and businesses that are close to strong transport infrastructure can now reach further afield to attract a larger, more diverse workforce. There is also a clear trend among the millennial generation of people born in the 1980s and the 1990s to use the public transport more and in particular reduce commute times. This is something we are keenly aware of and have sought to maximise at Embankment.
Staff may be open to different styles of commuting and many employees map their journeys into work and pull together travel plans to assess how any new location will affect their daily commute.
We are definitely seeing traditional out of town occupiers opting to relocate to the city centre – a trend known as re-urbanisation. The upgrading of the public transport network, coupled with a shift away from car use, particularly in younger workers, is driving this change.