A NINE-storey office building in the centre of Southampton has changed hands for more than £14million.

The new owner of Charlotte Place intends to “reposition” the building in a market where it says good office space is running short.

Charlotte Place was sold to Kingsbridge Estates by Columbia Threadneedle Investments for £14.1m. It has 80,000sqft of office space with a current vacancy level of 22 per cent.

Chris Fry, chief executive of Kingsbridge Estates, said: “We have exciting plans to reposition Charlotte Place in order to capture demand in a market where there is no competing new-build stock and a dwindling availability of grade-A offices.”

The deal comes after training provider BPP took a 10-year lease at the building.

It moved there from Glenville House, which is earmarked for conversion to mixed use, opposite Southampton Central railway station.

Kingsbridge says it plans to extend and upgrade the reception area at Charlotte Place, increase amenities in the building and divide the space into smaller units.

It says the acquisition is part of a strategy to buy multi-let offices in strong south east centres.

The company is also developing industrial estates in the region, with schemes currently going on at Segensworth and Havant.

Only two offices are available to let at the development, which was built in the mid-2000s – 12,000sqft on the fifth floor and 6,000sqft on the first floor.

Vail Williams acted for Kingsbridge and Columbia Threadneedle Investments were represented by Knight Frank.

Russell Mogridge, partner at Vail Williams’ Solent region, said: “Supply and demand is very much at the fore here – there is a little high-end office space available in central Southampton.

“This situation is likely to become ever more acute because there are no speculative buildings in the pipeline and offices of a lesser quality are being removed from the market through permitted development rights, with commercial space turned into residential or student accommodation.

“Given these dynamics, along with corporate demand for high-quality offices with co-working spaces, break-out areas, natural light, city centre leisure accessibility and public transport links, Charlotte Place is well positioned to deliver attractive yields and capital growth over the long term.”

Jurys Inn Southampton, the hotel on-site with an in-house bar and restaurant, is not part of the acquisition deal.


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