Boutique office refurbishment

New Cardiff city centre block given a ’boutique office refurbishment’

Golate House in the centre of the capital has seen the renovation of two floors in a style inspired by the offices of Shoreditch and Hoxton

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A new office block, described by the developers as ’boutique office refurbishment’, is ready for its new tennants.

Golate House on St Mary Street has been rebranded as 101 Cardiff and offers 10,000 sq ft of retail at ground floor with approximately 50,000 sq ft of offices above.

“It’s fair to say that when we acquired the building it was looking a bit tired and needed some attention to bring it back up to the standards that modern office occupiers require,” says Anthony Phillips, asset manager for new owner 101 Asset Management Ltd, who purchased the building for £4.425m in August, 2013.

When first bought the building was fully occupied, however a number of the tenants’ leases were coming to an end giving the team time to research what they could do with the space and how to bring it back up to modern standards.

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Anthony Phillips, asset manager for 101 Asset Management Ltd, on the fourth floor of the building

“In December 2015 a tenant vacated two floors of 6,450 sq ft each. We finished our refurbishment in June this year and have just launched the marketing,” explains Mr Phillips.

“Our vision was to do for the office market what the Boutique Hotel has done for the hotel market.

“We couldn’t find inspiration locally, as there were no other offices being refurbished here in Cardiff at the time. So we went to London and researched what they were doing up there. We were particularly interested in the exciting and creative areas around the fringe of the city, places such as Shoreditch, Hoxton and Clerkenwell.

“What we found were numerous examples where older style buildings were being given really interesting and exciting make-overs and this gave us the inspiration to strip away the traditional and corporate feel of the suspended ceilings and painted walls and expose the concrete fabric and soul of the building.

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The lighting was sourced from Eastern Europe

“We introduced top of the range fixtures and fittings such as latest high spec lighting but balanced this with some recycled feature vintage lighting that we actually sourced from Eastern Europe. We fitted high quality German carpet with a design and pattern that has been used on the Google headquarters in London.

“We also totally demolished and rebuilt the toilet areas and fitted these out with boutique quality high-end fittings and new showers. This has all been clad in Austrian timber with seamless joinery so the toilet block actually creates a floating feature.”

The two floors are now ready and from research Mr Phillips knows that the tenant could be from any industry.

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The shower room was clad in Austrian timber

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The carpet is the same as Google’s London HQ

“What perhaps surprised us most from our research in London, was the type of occupiers who are signing up for this type of space. We initially thought it would only appeal to the ‘arty types’, such as advertising companies, architects and the like, but what we found was that it is actually also very much of interest to the more traditional sectors such as solicitors and accountants.

“These companies are all competing to attract the best graduates from university and these new graduates want to work in exciting new offices that are creative and offer something a bit different to the standard traditional office.”

Such has been the interest 101 Asset Management are now looking for more properties to be given an boutique office refurbishment.

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The bathroom has high end fittings

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