New Sir Robert McAlpine joint venture plans to build ?2bn of new offices in the south east

The property entrepreneur behind the regeneration of London’s famous Burlington Arcade has formed a new joint venture with building and civil engineering contractor Sir Robert McAlpine to build ?2bn of offices across the south east.
John Baker formed the partnership to take advantage of the growing need for more offices in the south east, he said. The new company is called The Commercial Parks Group and has already acquired ?20m worth of property in Crawley, Haywards Heath and Bromley in order to create three new business hubs.
Its first project will be a 110,000 sq ft office redevelopment in Crawley, the initial phase of a plan to regenerate an entire street of ageing commercial buildings to create a new business district called Gatwick Park. The development will create around 500,000 sq ft of new office space when it is completed.
The site is on the edge of the Manor Royal Business District, which is home to the offices of companies including Virgin Atlantic, Grant Thornton and Siemens.
The Commercial Parks Group has also drawn up similar plans for developments in Haywards Heath and Bromley which when finished will be worth a total of around ?2bn.
New Sir Robert McAlpine joint venture plans to build ?2bn of new offices in the south east

Businesses are increasingly leaving London because of rising costs

Official Government data suggests that the number of people leaving London has almost doubled in the past five years, reaching 93,300 in the last 12 months, as many people find themselves priced out of London’s housing market.
There has been a 25pc increase in the number of people aged 30-39 moving out of the capital since 2010, meaning businesses which move to the south east have access to skilled working-age population.
Businesses have also moved out of central London to avoid costly office contracts: Swiss company Nestle relocated from Croydon to Crawley in 2012.
Mr Baker said: “Combined with the government’s commitment to creating high quality living spaces on the outskirts of the capital, Crawley, Haywards Heath and Bromley are becoming key destinations to live and work.”
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