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Revealed: First Office Tenant For £1.3B West London Scheme

Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International's Olympia redevelopment

Flexible workspace operator IWG has signed to take a major chunk of the office space at the £1.3B regeneration of the Olympia exhibition and conference venue in west London, Bisnow can reveal. 

IWG will occupy 73K SF of the 550K SF available at Olympia, which is being redeveloped by a joint venture between Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International

IWG will take the entire fifth floor of the One Olympia office building, where its offices will include recording studios, multimedia content creation facilities and podcast rooms. It will offer flexible office space rather than coworking desks as it looks to emulate IWG’s high-end facility that opened at Battersea Power Station last year. 

Yoo and Deutsche Finance bought the Olympia Exhibition Centre in West Kensington from listed property company Capco for £296M in 2017.

The mixed-use redevelopment will total 2.25M SF and be designed by Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC. Goldman Sachs provided an £875M construction loan for the scheme, which is scheduled for completion in 2025.

As well as the office element, the project will include a 4,400-capacity live music venue managed by AEG Presents; London’s largest new permanent theatre in 40 years, to be managed by Trafalgar Entertainment; the retention of some of the former conference and exhibition space and the maintenance of an events business; a new Wetherby performing arts school, in partnership with The BRIT School; Hyatt Regency and citizenM hotels; and 14 restaurants and bars.

The site will also include 2.5 acres of public realm, including 50K SF of external terraces around the buildings. 

“From the outset, our vision for Olympia has always been to create a cultural ecosystem in west London that sparks creativity and promotes interconnectivity,” Yoo Group Chairman John Hitchcox said in a statement. “As society redefines how and where we want to work, live and play; a greater sense of flexibility and autonomy is crucial.”

IWG operates from about 4,000 locations worldwide, 400 of those in the UK. Last week, it announced plans to open another 2,000 in the UK over the next five years.

“The demand for hybrid working continues to soar, and west London is a fantastic place for us to boost our expansion plans,” IWG CEO and founder Mark Dixon said in a statement. 

Olympia opened in 1886 and was first conceived as an exhibition hall for agricultural shows. Its remit later expanded to include exhibitions and trade shows of all kinds across four halls, including the BBC Good Food Show and the National Wedding Show.

“In its simplest terms, if you’re an office occupier and you want to attract people to work for you, do you just want to be in another joyless office building?” Yoo Capital Managing Partner Lloyd Lee told Bisnow in an interview last year. “Theatres, concert venues, they create value in the whole scheme because they turn it into a place that people want to be, that they know, because they come here at the weekend.”