It all started a bit damp, VERY damp in fact! The Tannery on Kirkstall Road took a real hit in the 2015 Boxing Day floods. The basement flooded entirely taking out the gas solenoid, the lift motor room and all the electrics in the building. It took plenty of graft, water pumps, dehumidifiers, heaters and hands on deck but thankfully we had the building open and operational on the first working day of the year, January 4th.
The region remained buoyant despite the damp start, kicking off with the new South entrance to the train station opening at a cost of £20m. The new entrance expects to shave 5 minutes of around 100,000 people's journey on a daily basis – architecturally it’s a bit of an eye catcher too.
March was an exciting month as Bracken purchased The Tannery from development company CDP Marshall, meaning we now own two out of our three Serviced Office Buildings.
The summer saw the World Triathlon Series come to Leeds, putting the city in a league with other host cities such as Stockholm in Sweden, Gold Cost in Australia and Yokohama, Japan. Oodles of food and drink venues exploded onto the scene including favourites such as Bossa Grill, Turks Head and Ham & Friends. 2016 also dealt its fair share of surprises, Brexit being one of them and Donald Trump being elected as the new President of the United States (more on that later!)
The serviced office market remained steady with no troubling fluctuations. Despite concerns arising from political matters, we saw growth from existing customers taking larger offices and a couple of long-term customers flew the serviced office nest to move into properties with conventional leases. Bracken performed with an average occupancy rate of 93% across all three locations - A figure above industry standards and expectations.
Within the team, we welcomed Jess to Calls Wharf and we had a new mini team member arrive in the shape of Elsie, Debra and Iain’s second daughter. All in all, 2016 was a positive year for Bracken Business Centres and the serviced office industry in Leeds – Long may it continue into 2017 and beyond!