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Surrey council buys 56,000 sq ft HQ from Woking council for own occupation

By November 4, 2019Office Agency

Surrey County Council has bought a 56,205 sq ft headquarters in Woking town centre from Woking council, a building that Woking only bought in February of this year.

In a statement today, Surrey council said its new base will be Midas House at 62 Goldsworth Road in Woking.

Surrey will occupy all of the four floors, sparking requirements from current tenants including Robert McAlpine and Menzies, CoStar News can reveal.

Councillor Tim Oliver, leader of the council, said in a statement that did not include details of the sale: “I am truly excited about this momentous move, which will accelerate changes in the way we work, enabling our employees to work even more flexibly and spend more time with our residents and service users.”

The council announced back in October last year that it was considering moving from its current Kingston home, where it occupies 100,000 sq ft, and back into Surrey. In April it emerged that the two options for a new base were Guildford and Woking.

Woking bought the building in February from the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority (owned by Aberdeen Standard Investments) for £23,397,951.

Vail Williams Partner Kevin Cook has advised Surrey on the acquisition and its office requirement.

Cook said: “This decision marks the end of a 15-year project working for Surrey County Council and we are delighted it has arrived at this conclusion. It allows Surrey to relocate into their own Borough which was the main objective while also enabling them to move into a more modern environment and enable more modern working practices for staff. It is also accessible for the people of Surrey.”

Hurst Warne said: “Office rents for the town continue to improve with best prime A stock now forecast to reach the mid to upper £30s level in 2020. Current take up for offices in the town at Q4 2019 stands 67,000 sq ft to date with a further 45,000 sq ft under offer excluding the SCC acquisition. In common with much of the South East office market, take-up is largely driven by locally based occupiers already in or nearby to the Woking market. A recent example is Woking based occupier McLaren, leasing the 66,000 sq ft Victoria Gate building in 2018. Victoria Gate is now owned by WBC.”

Peter Richards , director of Hurst Warne’s Woking office, said: “This news is a great endorsement for Woking as the place to work in Surrey. We expect SCC move will encourage further inward investment in to the town in all of the property sectors.”