The fashion for fit-out – how traditional landlords are embracing new levels of office fit-out

Rachel Lockhart, City Office Leasing

Changing tenant demand has led to a growing number of office landlords offering a wider range of office fit-out – Category A+.

This new trend is being driven by cost, convenience and competition from co-working providers who have become known for offering hassle-free, ready to move-in-to space. Landlords that have begun to test this new concept, are already starting to see the benefits.

Category A+ fit-out sits in between a landlord’s basic provision of space, Category A, and Category B – a full, interior designed space instructed by tenants. Category A space has always been widely offered by landlords in the market. As well as requiring minimal investment, this basic provision enables building owners to target a wider variety of occupiers – all with varying needs. Tenants have come to expect this level of fit-out to provide basic mechanical, electrical and fire detection services and air-conditioning and ventilation, painted walls and toilet facilities. To entice occupiers and offset some of the expense of fit-out, landlords have typically offered tenants rent-free periods whilst their fit-out takes place.

Market change

But in a positive move to engage with and attract occupiers, landlords have begun testing the demand and benefits for three new tiers of Category of A under the umbrella of Category A+. These new levels of fit-out provide tenants with almost-ready-for-occupation office space to varying degrees, helping to significantly reduce the cost for tenants and speeding-up the move-in process.

Some landlords have embraced this approach, whilst others are still testing the market. Those landlords that have implemented Category A+ fit outs have undoubtedly reduced void periods and have seen a positive impact on rents. Offering ready-to-move into space has helped building owners to secure tenants quickly and tempt those that struggle to envision how space can be utilised when viewing Category A space.

So far, the Category A+ models have proved effective for every party involved and offer businesses greater choice. Whilst the co-working sector has changed the rules of the game, Category A+ fit-outs demonstrate that traditional landlords can, and are, evolving to keep up with fast-changing tenant demand.

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