PADDINGTON SQUARE PRE-LETS ALL 350,000 SQ FT OF WORKSPACE, AS DEMAND FOR SUSTAINABLE, FUTURE FIT OFFICES INTENSIFIES POST PANDEMIC

London, 27 June 2022 – Sellar, on behalf of owners Great Western Developments Limited, has today announced that 100% of the office space at Paddington Square has been pre-let ahead of the building’s completion later this year. The milestone marks a significant shift in occupier demand towards design-led, modern workspaces in well-connected locations – Paddington Square includes a new interchange with the Paddington Underground and Elizabeth Line stations – with strong sustainability credentials.

In a major vote of confidence in the London office market, and an illustration of the demand for quality and innovative workspace, Capital Group, DS Smith Plc and Kingfisher Plc have today confirmed that they have agreed terms to occupy space within the total 350,000 sq. ft. of workspace at Paddington Square, London’s new quarter for work, retail, and dining at the heart of Paddington’s regeneration.

First occupiers will be moving their teams in at the start of 2023, following the main building’s practical completion. Paddington Square comprises 14 levels of light-filled, modern workspaces with striking views across London, around 40 retail and dining brands, West London’s highest rooftop restaurant and terrace, and a new public piazza featuring the UK’s first permanent outdoor public art commissions from internationally acclaimed artists Ugo Rondinone, Pae White and Catherine Yass.

All occupiers and their guests will enjoy access to The Exchange on Level 2. Designed by Universal Design Studio, The Exchange reimagines the traditional Lobby as a series of different spaces promoting collaboration, social engagement, and personal wellbeing. Features include contactless entry, concierge, café and bar, touch-down workspaces, meeting and lounge areas, and an outdoor terrace overlooking the new 1.35-acre piazza.

Global investment manager Capital Group plans to double its office size, relocating from Victoria into over 220,000 sq. ft. across nine floors. London is Capital Group’s second-largest investment office globally. Its space will include the highest office floor in the building at level 16, which offers a wrap-around outdoor terrace with unique views across Hyde Park and the City.

Capital Group’s new office will have a state-of-the-art 150-seater auditorium, a multi-purpose event space and multi-media studio capabilities. The workspace will be flexible, dynamic and accommodate a planned increase in headcount over the next 10 years. Paddington Square’s contemporary and sustainable design and high-specification workspace underlines the company’s conviction to choose a property equipped for the future.

FTSE 100 company DS Smith Plc, a leading provider of sustainable fibre-based packaging worldwide, which is supported by recycling and papermaking operations, will occupy level three.

International home improvement company Kingfisher Plc, which operates 1,490 stores in eight countries across Europe under retail banners including B&Q, Castorama and Screwfix, will relocate its UK headquarters to level seven of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop-designed workspace.

Being designed and built through the global pandemic provided significant challenges, and opportunities, most significantly, enabling the team to evolve the design in direct response to evolving demands on health and safety, personal wellbeing, and new ways of working.

Paddington Square is super-connected; occupiers and their guests will benefit from fast, convenient access via a new Bakerloo Line ticket hall located immediately beneath the offices, and much improved arrival experience to the adjoined Paddington Station. Both present direct access to tube and mainline services, Heathrow Express, and the new Elizabeth Line, reducing the need for secondary journeys. Alternative green travel routes, canals and parks surround Paddington Square, enhancing wellbeing for occupiers and encouraging active commuting, supported by the project’s 530 cycle spaces, washroom and locker facilities.

A significant attraction for the office occupiers is the quality of retail and restaurants opening at Paddington Square early next year. Around 40 incoming shops and restaurants will serve one of London’s fastest growing and most progress business and leisure districts. Paddington Square itself will host 3,500 office workers, adding to the area’s existing 55,000-strong international business community. The mix of shops and restaurants will also serve one of London’s most affluent residential catchments, as well as the 113.5 million people projected to use Paddington station every year following the opening of the Elizabeth Line this month.

James Sellar, CEO of Sellar, said: "To be able to announce that the entirety of Paddington Square’s 350,000 sq. ft. of office space has been let, ahead of practical completion later this year, is testament to the quality of the building and its ability to meet occupier demands for future-fit workspace, served by multiple transport options which include Paddington’s newly opened Elizabeth Line station.

Paddington Square has been designed as much for the public and the community as it has for its occupiers. Around 40 new shops and restaurants, a new tube station, major public space and a transformed entrance to one of London’s most important transport hubs, this is a game-changer for the Paddington area.

This announcement is a major milestone for the project, which was designed and built through the global pandemic. We look forward to welcoming our first office occupiers to the building later this year and announcing further details of our retail and leisure brands in due course.”

Hamish Forsyth, President for Europe and Asia, Capital Group, said: “In recent years, we have seen the way we work and collaborate evolve. Servicing our clients and supporting the needs and development of our associates is at the heart of our office design. We are thrilled to be expanding our London presence and moving into a sustainable building with a workspace which will encourage hybrid and creative work.”

Matthew Stone, Group Property Director at DS Smith, commented: “As part of our ongoing plans for future growth across DS Smith, we have been reviewing the way we use our spaces to ensure we have the right environments to meet the new challenges ahead; both for today and tomorrow. We are pleased to be moving to Paddington Square to support greater commercial and innovation opportunities for us as a business, while incorporating our sustainability and inclusivity needs”.

Paddington Square is a development by Sellar on behalf of Great Western Developments Ltd (GWD), a joint venture between Hotel Properties Limited and Anchorage View Pte. Ltd. GWD was advised by JLL and Knight Frank. Edward Charles & Partners acted for Capital Group. Cushman & Wakefield acted for DS Smith Plc and Kingfisher Plc.