Glenny News

Focus on East London: Royal Docks

Focus on East London: Royal Docks

Not instantly recognisable to many Londoners, the Royal Docks area was once the epicentre of the capital’s shipping industry and a critical hub for commerce and trade as it served the city from its bustling waterfront. After falling into disrepair for many years, the Royal Docks is back on the up thanks to investment and a significant regeneration effort that will restore a huge area – the same size as central London – into a new centre for businesses.

Incentivised by lower rents and the luxury of premium office space in an accessible and affordable location, businesses are starting to embrace the area’s appeal and the pace of change in the area is palpable. City Hall, ensconced in central London for the past two decades, is now looking to relocate the centre of London’s government to the Crystal Building within the heart of Royal Docks. Already brimming with potential, the proposed move has helped to stimulate further conversation about the area as it slowly starts to establish itself as a new destination for emerging businesses.

Glenny, which has over 120 years of experience servicing clients in East London, has unrivalled knowledge of the Royal Docks and is proudly marketing some of the area’s leading developments.

Over the past 2 years, we have been appointed on Phase 1 of ABP London’s RAD development – 460,000 sq ft of newly built, high-spec office space available on a range of flexible lease terms, as well as appointed sole agent on 33,560 sq ft of office space at the Royal Wharf development in Silvertown.

In addition to commercial, we are also marketing a mix of industrial opportunities. We are advising Tate & Lyle on circa 80,000 sq ft of under-utilised light industrial and office space adjoining its historic Thames Refinery on Factory Road, Silvertown, and are marketing units at Standard Industrial Estate situated on Pier Road in Silvertown.

Further large-scale regeneration projects are being primed for delivery at Albert Island, where London & Regional have submitted a planning application for a commercially led mixed-use scheme providing a mix of logistics, light industrial, educational and maker spaces. Lendlease have also received planning consent for their first phase of development at the 50 acre Silvertown Quays site, which will see the refurbishment of the iconic Millennium Mills building, providing further commercial space as well as residential accommodation.

With the transformation of the area’s building stock well underway, the local infrastructure has also been benefitting from increasing investment. In a welcome boost to the area’s connectivity, the recent opening of two new Brompton Bike Hire docks within the Royal Docks demonstrate the area’s appeal for those looking to explore the docks and the wider Newham area. Works at the nearby Elizabeth Line station, Custom House, also continues to gather pace. This is in addition to the planned refurbishment of six DLR stations located across the Royal Docks, further enhancing access to the Docks and the wider area. London City Airport is also closely located, with direct flights to 30 destinations worldwide. The area is also at the centre of a well-connected road network, providing easy access to the City and outer London. In a world that has been transformed by the impact of COVID-19, the ability to have the option of driving is crucial as occupiers come to terms with employees hesitance at using public transport.

The Docks are also home to the world renowned exhibition centre ExCeL London. In recent months, London’s largest event venue has been totally transformed from hosting exhibitions and roadshows to treating Coronavirus patients. NHS Nightingale Hospital took less than a fortnight to build and accommodates 4,000 patients cared for by 16,000 staff based over 80 wards.

Peter Higgins, Divisional Partner within Glenny’s Business Space Agency team, commented: “Overlooked for many years, it’s easy to forget how vast the Royal Docks is. Originally, Canary Wharf struggled to attract new businesses and within a few short years the area was reborn into the country’s most successful and prominent financial district. The Royal Docks has the same potential that Canary Wharf had in the early 1980s and in many respects offers a more diverse and convenient location, as they appeal to the logistics and industrial sectors in addition to offices.

With an increasing number of businesses looking to move out of central London, the Royal Docks, with its excellent transport links and agreeable rates, offers the benefits that will enable these businesses to flourish.”

To find out more about what services and opportunities Glenny can help with, contact Peter Higgins at [email protected]

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