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‘Once In A Generation’ Opportunity To Transform Oxford Street To Offices Says Savills

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Commercial office demand could transform Oxford Street.

London’s Oxford Street is on the brink of a ‘generational change’, with 1.32M SF of new office schemes proposed for delivery in the next five years.

Analysis by Savills has revealed the extent of potential conversion of former retail space to offices, which Savills said would account for 72% (960K SF) of new office space available along Oxford Street, as it evolves into a mixed-use location.

Savills said that live requirements for 100K-plus SF offices had never been higher, with Palantir, Condé Nast and Evercore all in the market.

This is against a backdrop of strong occupier demand across the central West End submarkets surrounding Oxford Street, that has seen a 1.4% decrease in the vacancy rate since the end of 2021 to stand at 5.1%, compared with an overall West End vacancy rate of 6.1%.

Savills said only nine grade-A options currently available could satisfy a requirement over 25K SF in the area. Larger floorplates are traditionally hard to satisfy in the West End because of the dominance of heritage buildings, Savills said.

Key schemes along Oxford Street include: Sirosa’s 163K SF at Emporium, Henrietta Place; the former House of Frasers, available from Q3 2024; Ramsbury & Capital Real Estate delivering 280K SF at the former Debenhams Store, 334 Oxford Street, for Q4 2024; Derwent London granted planning for 150K SF at Holden House, 54-68 Oxford Street (expected, 2027); and 80K SF at a former Next store at The Ribbon, Wells Street, being delivered by M&G in H1 2024.

Savills said Oxford Street had already been boosted by the recently opened Bond Street Elizabeth Line station.

“Oxford Street is already globally recognised as a leading retail and leisure destination," said Andrew Wedderspoon, Savills director in the West End office agency team. "While the area has been hard to imagine as a genuine office submarket until now, the sheer volume of space available for conversion is a once in a generation moment to transform the street and attract those larger occupiers.”