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The value of connected buildings

4ORTY in London has been awarded WiredScore gold certification for its outstanding digital infrastructure

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In today’s digital business world, nothing is ever fast enough. Companies need strong connectivity to effectively communicate with customers, clients, partners, and employees.

In a 2017 survey, office tenants said connectivity was second only to location in importance when considering office space. Furthermore, 84% of the 150 US firms interviewed told Radius Global Market Research that they are willing to pay more per sq. ft. for superior connectivity infrastructure.

Given the central role of connectivity to business, it makes sense to certify buildings as being future-proof assets for clients and to help attract new tenants. In March, PATRIZIA achieved gold certification for 4ORTY, an award-winning building at 40 Grosvenor Place in London.

“It is an extra selling point when letting office space,” explains James Rodge. “Many buildings were built in the pre-internet era, so such certification gives tenants the assurance they can move in and quickly get connected.”

Office tenants expect quality connectivity

Managed by PATRIZIA for an international client, 4ORTY was completed in 2001 and is built around an 8,000 sq. feet (744 sq. meter) glass atrium. Its pioneering design was one of the first of its kind in London, creating a modern, collaborative, and social office space.

Rodge, the PATRIZIA asset manager for 4ORTY, explained that the white six-storey building has Queen Elizabeth as the closest neighbour as it overlooks the gardens of Buckingham Palace. “There was little tenant churn over the years,” he says, “because it is such a prestige location smack in the heart of London.”

When several floors became free in 2018, PATRIZIA seized the opportunity to refurbish the building. As part of the process, Rodge says PATRIZIA looked at improving various certifications, including WELL, relating to wellbeing of occupiers, and in terms of connectivity, WiredScore, a rapidly growing international certification firm, who assessed the building before awarding a gold certification.

A gold rating means the internet infrastructure is best-in-class and offers superior internet connectivity. 4ORTY has multiple high-quality internet service providers and a variety of cabling types. The infrastructure in place ensures connectivity sources will be protected, resilient and prepared for the connectivity needs of tenants.

“4ORTY was ahead of its time at the time of construction, so the certification process was straightforward,” says Rodge. “Without having to do any reverse engineering, we now have extra credentials to offer prospective tenants when they are considering the building.”

The location, plus the large floor plates of up to 37,000 sq. feet. (3,440 sq. meters), which is rare for the area, means 4ORTY has attracted a lot of interest. One third of the available space is pre-let, on a 15-year lease to an international medical group. A whole floor is under offer and in the hands of solicitors and PATRIZIA is currently in discussion with a potential tenant for the remaining office space.

“It is likely that the entire building will be let before we finish the refurbishment in Q3,” explains Rodge. “Part of that is undoubtedly the appeal of the location, so I cannot say what role the certification has played. However, when a client is considering two similar buildings, having such connectivity certification will be a key selling point.”

4ORTY is the fifth PATRIZIA managed building to receive WiredScore certification in the UK. Another five are undergoing certification. Sprinkenhof, an office building with 37,000 square meters of space in the UN World Heritage Speicherstadt area of Hamburg, was the first PATRIZIA building in Germany to received gold certification. Another three buildings in Germany are currently undergoing certification.

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