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Developer Blends Office And Manufacturing Space With New Scheme

General Projects' Expressway scheme will feature manufacturing space for local designers and makers.

Developer General Projects has bought a 117K SF office and industrial scheme in East London, and is planning to turn it into a flexible workspace that will feature both offices and manufacturing areas.

British Airways Pension Fund and General Projects have acquired the long leasehold interest in Waterfront Studios, a serviced office and industrial complex in the Royal Docks, for £16.2M from Newable Properties. Waterfront is home to 162 independent businesses across a range of offices, studios and light-industrial workshops. The property was built by GLE Properties in 2003 and sits beneath the Silvertown Flyover.

General Projects will be reinventing and relaunching the space as a new flexible workspace hub which it will operate directly, making it the latest developer to move into directly managing coworking space.

The project will be rebranded as “Expressway”, a nod to the flyover, the first built in the UK, which sits above it.

The Expressway scheme

East London-based designers Architecture 00 have been appointed to develop a new look and feel for the workspace which will incorporate new amenities including a coworking and events space, café and deli.

The scheme also includes more than 60K SF of industrial workshop units which will be refurbished to target local makers, designers, fabricators and manufacturers. It will be one of the first to try and blend office and manufacturing space on such a large scale.

“Waterfront has been a successful business centre and industrial complex for more than 15 years,” General Projects Chief Executive Jacob Loftus said. “However, with the changes underway in the local area, there is now an exciting opportunity to modernise and reposition the centre as a leading design-led, service-driven, workspace hub, that is also genuinely affordable for small and medium-sized businesses in London.”