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Docklands Office Premises

Workstation Comparison

Introduction

With the recent emergence of Managed Offices or Business Centres as a market sector in its own right, there has been a trend to present pricing on a 'Workstation' basis instead of the more traditional Rent per square foot. The former has some benefits, particularly for transient occupancy where an employer can focus on the number of people employed instead of the amount of space they are occupying. However, there are also presentational aspects at the heart of any Landlord’s decision to price in these terms, and so it is useful to be able to make comparisons between Workstation and Area based prices.

Workstation Area

There are several competitors to the Docklands Business Centre on the Isle of Dogs, with Regus, MWB and MLS all adopting Workstation pricing. In each case, their “workstations” are said to occupy between 70 and 80 sf. They are packaged in self contained offices, and for small offices therefore:

DBC 150 sf Office = 2 Workstations Typical DBC Office Cost pm £440
DBC 220 sf Office = 3 Workstations Typical DBC Office Cost pm £650
DBC 300 sf Office = 4 Workstations Typical DBC Office Cost pm £840
DBC 450 sf Office = 6 Workstations Typical DBC Office Cost pm £1210


Larger areas tend to be transparently uneconomic on a workstation basis, and other operators revert to area based pricing if they try to let this sort of space.

Comparisons

Figures as at May 2005, taken from published Price Lists or written response to enquiries. The Table shown below summarises the price and other selling points normally quoted. The comments below are personal, and relate to the more subjective aspects of choosing premises.

There are many issues to bear in mind, Location being perhaps the most important. The competition listed above are undeniably in a “prestige location” with attendant costs and benefits. High Rise buildings have great views but higher running costs and Business Rates. You may think that Business Rates do not matter as “the prices are all inclusive” – precisely, you pay for them anyway and you also pay for all that Empty Rates space which are recovered from occupiers. (At DBC, you pay Business Rates at their true cost directly to the LBTH).

There are normally Security issues in large or landmark buildings. This alters the ‘feel’ of the accommodation. In Canary Wharf, you are in “the rat race” – at DBC you are on the edge of it. DBC has a more relaxed feel, with windows that open, heating you can adjust – Canary Wharf gives you 52 week air con whether you want it or not, and a much more controlled and managed environment. Prices include an allowance of up to £1 psf pa for the Rates cost of air con alone and there are hefty running and maintenance costs. At DBC, air con is an optional extra. All offices at DBC have windows – the less expensive ones at Canary Wharf are “internal space” with no external windows. Our toilet accommodation is far more generous with Ladies and Gents WC’s on every 3,000 sf floor.

The bottom line is that after making reasonable adjustments for Business Rates (but before looking at the greater ‘cost of living’ associated with optional extras), DBC works out at about 50% or less of the costs in Canary Wharf. By no coincidence at all, this is a similar ratio to the cost of conventional office rentals at £15 - £20 psf “off pitch” to £35 - £60 psf in prime Canary Wharf space.

COMPARISON DBC REGUS/MWB MLS
 Price per Workstation, per month

£200 to £220

£700 to £1000

£375 to £550

 Price per 4 person Office, per month

£840

Say £3,400

Say £1,800

 Utilities (Gas, Water, Electricity)

Included

Included

Included

 Common Part Toilets

Included

Included

Included

 Reception

Included

Included

Included

 Cleaning & Maintenance

Included

Included

Included

 Furniture

Some included

 

 

 Business Rates

Extra

Included

Included

 24/7/365 Access

Included

Included

Included

 Air Conditioning

Extra to Tenant Demand

Included

Included

 Meeting Rooms

Extra

Extra

Extra

 Conference Rooms

Extra

Extra

Extra

 DDI Telephone System

Included

Included

Included

 Line Rental

Extra

Extra

Extra

 Handset Rental

Extra

Extra

Extra

 Telephone Call Charges

C&W Rates

BT Rates

BT Rates

 Secretarial Services

Extra

Extra

Extra

 On Site Café

Yes

No

No

 Lifts & Mechanical Service

Included

Included

Included

 Cat5 Building Cabling

Included

Included

Included

 Internet Access

Extra

Extra

Extra

 In House IT Support

Yes

No

Yes

 Secure Car Park

Yes (32 spaces)

No

No

 Street Parking

Yes

No

No


Notes

Broadband Connections. Domestic or Business ADSL is not available at any of these locations. Broadband internet connectivity is offered at DBC on a ‘per office’ basis (£50, £140 or £200 pm depending on technical requirements), whereas the other companies charge per person – e.g. Regus is £75 per person pm for 512K,, or £300 pm for a 4 person office. MLS and MWB are less expensive but still considerably more than the DBC offerings.

IT Support and Consultancy. DBC has a state of the art Data Centre featuring 2 independent 100 Mbps internet connections and an IT team able to assist with everything from hardware and software support to web site design, optimisation, hosting, programming and procurement. These services are all made available at subsidised rates to tenants.

Optional Charges. Meeting Room and Conference Room hire, additional furniture, telephone answering, secretarial facilities are all significantly more economical at DBC, reflecting (in part) our lower cost base.

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