Paddy, please can you tell us about your role in the Bank House team.
My role is fundamentally to market the office space and secure lettings. With a building of the size and scale of Bank House our target audience is both regional businesses and those from outside the North East.
Office development such as Bank House has an important role to play in economic growth and attracting businesses to the region. As a global property agency we therefore use Knight Frank’s exposure and network to reach these markets.
How long have you been involved in the Bank House project?
I’ve been involved since mid-2019 when we were appointed joint letting agents alongside Avison Young. We came on board during the design stage and before construction of Bank House had started.
Being involved in the design stage is fascinating. Marketing and securing occupiers is obviously the heart of our involvement in any office development, but our market facing advice at the development stage is key to ensure the building is responding to market demand and trends.
As a ‘frustrated architect’ it is definitely one of the most interesting elements of the process for me!
What has been your most memorable day working on the project so far?
It has to be the first time I climbed the stair core to the top floor and saw the unbelievably good views from the top floor. In my career so far, I have been fortunate to see some amazing views over the city from various office buildings, but the view from the 12th floor at Bank House is seriously impressive. You not only see right across the city in every direction, but you can also see for miles around.
It will be an incredible backdrop for whoever takes the top floor!
What are you most looking forward to when the building is completed next Spring?
The office market has changed so much in the last few years, and in particular the way occupiers are fitting out their offices in response to the increase in hybrid working patterns and the emphasis on wellbeing, sustainability and staff retention. I am therefore really looking forward to seeing how various businesses who take office space in Bank House adapt and what innovative ways they choose to fit their office space out.
What makes Bank House different to other office buildings you have worked on?
It is probably it’s height. At 12 storeys it may not compete with Manchester of Leeds in terms of tall buildings, but certainly for Newcastle it is the tallest new build office building in terms of number of office floors for quite some years.
What’s interesting is that there are great views from all levels as most of the surrounding buildings are low level, particularly those on Pilgrim Street. Some of the lower floors have some of the most interesting views, a particular favourite for me is the view to the south where the building looks straight across the Tyne Bridge.
How do you think Bank House will help accommodate the evolving needs of modern-day office occupiers?
The one constant in the property market has always been location, location, location and Bank House is incredibly well positioned to aid businesses to attract and retain staff, which is particularly important in the new hybrid world.
It’s position at the southern end of Pilgrim Street not only makes it a gateway building to the city, but importantly Bank House lies within a 5 minute walk of both the main retail core and the train station, which are key factors for an occupier.
What design features do you think will be the most well received by new occupiers?
Wellbeing and sustainability are both right at the top of the list for occupiers when considering their workspace and Bank House delivers on both fronts.
The building is BREEAM Excellent which is a very high sustainability certification and its designed using a ‘fabric first’ approach to ensure reduced CO2 emissions during the buildings lifecycle, transcend the market average.
The 80 secure bike racks, bike maintenance station, change facilities, shower and locker areas will also be a big tick in the box for cyclists and runners, as we see more and more people looking towards more sustainable travel to and from work.