Published: 15/09/2020In the commercial sector, business continued through the lockdown, although one or two deals did fall by the wayside, or were considerably delayed.
Sadly, we have had to provide advice to a number of businesses for whom the pandemic has been extremely difficult. This has extended to both landlords, who have received little financial support, and to tenants (particularly in the retail and leisure sectors).
Perhaps the sector most-structurally impacted by the pandemic has been the office sector, obviously with so many people working from home. We do not think the office is dead though, and our belief is that locations such as Chiswick and surrounding areas may ultimately benefit, at the expense of central London, as businesses seek to reduce their office footprint overall, and cut out the time consuming, expensive and potentially virus-risky commute.
Since lockdown ended, we have let three shops on Chiswick High Road, with several more under offer, and taken on some exciting new instructions, including the former Byron restaurant, which is already attracting significant interest.
A very pleasing factor is the recent return of enquiries from traditional retailers, which is in addition to a constantly strong enquiry-base for cafes, restaurants, and for specialist uses like gyms, clinics, etc. The changes to the Use Classes Order, which introduces a new general business services class (Class E) from 1st September will make it much easier for a more-diverse range of uses to find suitable premises in traditional retail locations.
Sadly there will still be challenges for some, as a result of the ending of various government support measures including furloughing and rent moratoria. We are here to offer professional support and advise where we can.
Whilst the idea was conceived before the pandemic, it is perhaps timely that the new Chiswick Flower Market, which we have been proud to be involved with, and are glad to sponsor, is arriving on 6th September to help lift the spirits. Aimed at bringing new custom to Chiswick, and putting our excellent local retail offering firmly on the London map, we think this is going to be very exciting. Look out for the Whitman & Co plant crèche, and some familiar faces riding delivery bikes!
We are expecting an extremely busy autumn!