It was interesting to read the article by John Gravett in
Property Week last which said the property industry must embrace new technology
to ensure the UK remains an attractive place to do business.
The message was that within BOTH business and human
interaction nothing has changed more than the use of the internet; businesses
rely so much on connectivity to operate and share information, and within the
last 10 years’ the internet has become a tool for almost anything.
Gravett says ‘a wireless connection has become as much of a
vital utility as water, electricity or gas.’ This is true, and it’s a big point
for developers to consider.
We recently advised a hedge fund in acquiring space in a
comprehensively newly refurbished office building in Marylebone and again there
was the familiar problem of trying to resolve the connectivity issues and
becoming the ‘guinea pig’ to bring in the internet connections. This complexity
adds stress and pressure to relocating tenants who have timings and deadlines
to meet; something a landlord could try to avoid.
We are advising an institutional landlord on a similar sized
refurbishment project in St James’s and it is an issue we are trying to get
right for the occupiers.
Lastly, the recent autumn statement showed that the
government will be investing £ 1bn in improving connectivity across the UK. It
appears that the current government has highlighted digital connectivity as a
way to ensure productivity remains high during BREXIT and that the UK has the
best infrastructure to remain attractive to foreign investors.
George Reynolds MRICS
Direct Dial: 020 7522 8524