AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets secures 200,000 sq ft pre-let to BT Group at Assembly Bristol
AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (“AXA IM - Real Assets”), a global leader in real asset investments and the leading(2) real estate portfolio and asset manager in Europe, announces that it has secured a pre-let agreement for 201,000 sq ft, at Assembly Bristol, with [BT Group (“BT”)], the FTSE 100 British multinational telecommunications company. Assembly Bristol is the flagship mixed-use regeneration scheme centred around a best in class flexible and smart workspace offering in the centre of Bristol, being developed by AXA IM – Real Assets on behalf of clients, with Bell Hammer retained as development manager.
BT has preleased the whole of Building A, an 11-storey building which is due to practically complete in 2020 and will be the first phase delivered as part of the overall 320,000 sq ft development. BT has agreed a 20-year lease on the building [as part of its UK wide office consolidation programme], The Better Workplace Programme, with the first staff expected to move in in 2021.
Ground work is also set to commence shortly on two further office buildings of 28,000 sq ft and 92,000 sq ft.
Designed by AHMM, Building A represents a new archetype for Bristol office space, with elements focused on creating the best environment for occupiers: natural light and high ceilings; outside space on every floor; opening windows; a managed and shared roof terrace; and best in class end cycle facilities.
In line with AXA IM - Real Assets’ global strategy of placing significant emphasis on sustainability and occupier wellness, Building A is targeting BREEAM Excellent, WELL Certification and WiredScore Platinum, which support AXA IM - Real Assets’ drive to provide sustainable spaces that remain valid over the long term for their users and the cities in which they are located.
The development is at the heart of the well-connected urban area of Bristol and a short walk to the city centre, Temple Meads Station, Cabot Circus shopping and the Floating Harbour via a new river walkway included as part of the plans working with Bristol City Council.
The site benefits from its status as part of the enterprise zone with significant public investment in infrastructure; including the new University of Bristol Enterprise Campus and the electrification of the Great West Railway which reduces the journey time to London to around 1hr 20min and increases the travel capacity by some 45%(3).
“We’ve been searching for a modern workspace in central Bristol fit for our future and in Assembly I’m pleased to say we have found it,” said Graeme Paton, MD, Property and Facilities Services at BT. “We were impressed with the flexibility and environmental credentials of the building, as well as its ideal location close to public transport links. We’re now beginning work on planning for our first colleagues to move in towards the end of 2021. The Better Workplace Programme is about transforming where and how we work and creating spaces that make our colleagues proud. This new building will be a key space for BT’s presence in Bristol and the south west. We have thousands of colleagues in the area, and they help BT Group contribute more than £1.3bn to the region’s economy.”
Harry Badham, UK Director of Development at AXA IM - Real Assets, commented: “Assembly Bristol represents the best of our experience developing new workspaces and BT’s decision to choose this development under its UK-wide better workplace programme is both a strong endorsement of this approach and the latest demonstration of a major corporate recognising the importance of staff wellbeing as part of its corporate narrative.
“We committed wholescale to Bristol when we acquired this site in 2015 and have worked hand in hand with both Bristol City Council and our excellent design team to create productive, future-ready workplaces for all business sectors. We took the full construction and leasing risk at a time of wider political and economic uncertainty because of our belief in the strength of the local authority, the product we are creating and the location.”
JLL acted on behalf of BT and Savills acted on behalf of AXA IM – Real Assets. Savills and JLL are joint letting agents for the project.
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1 Source: Savills audited data
2 Source: INREV/ANREV Fund Manager Survey – May 2019 – in terms of assets under management
3 Source: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/business/gwr-boss-says-were-track-65354 and https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/13/great-western-mainline-railway-upgrade-electrification-class-800-trains
AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets
Jocelyne Tamssom, Head of Communications
Tel: +33 1 44 45 97 95
FTI Consulting Inc.
Richard Sunderland, Ellie Sweeney, Richard Gotla, Methuselah Tanyanyiwa, Talia Jessener
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About AXA Investment Managers
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is an active, long-term, global, multi-asset investor. We work with clients today to provide the solutions they need to help build a better tomorrow for their investments, while creating a positive change for the world in which we all live. With approximately €757 billion in assets under management as at end of June 2019(1), AXA IM employs over 2,350 employees around the world and operates out of 30 offices across 21 countries. AXA IM is part of the AXA Group, a world leader in financial protection and wealth management.
About AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets
AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets has €85 billion in assets under management, including €64.3 billion in direct property & infrastructure and €16.9 billion in real asset finance as of end of June 2019(2). We offer a 360° approach to investing in real assets, which comprises opportunities in equity or debt, across different geographies and sectors, as well as via private or listed instruments. We are a global leader in real assets investment, the number one property portfolio and asset manager in Europe(3), and one of the largest worldwide. Our teams have been managing funds and mandates for over 30 years and comprise over 600 people in 13 offices that operate in over 20 countries around the world, which provide us with in-depth knowledge of countries, cities and sectors.
1 Source: AXA IM unaudited data
2 Source: AXA IM - Real Assets’ unaudited data
3 Source: INREV/ANREV Fund Manager Survey – May 2019 in terms of assets under management
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