Mapletree has confirmed that engineering firm Wood has taken 120,000 sq ft at Green Park.

After one of the quietest years in the Reading office market, the deal will more than double the take up in the town for 2023.

Wood, formerly Foster Wheeler, will move from Shinfield Park, the former Shire Hall, to 400 Longwater Avenue in August 2024

The building is one of Green Park’s first buildings to be awarded platinum WELL certification from the International Well Building Institute.

The letting at 400 Longwater Avenue, along with that of its sister building, 450 Longwater Avenue to Three Mobile earlier this year, represent two of the largest deals in the region in the last five years.

Mapletree says more occupiers are set to arrive in early 2024.

Rory Carson, Mapletree’s vice president of asset management in the UK, said: “Wood joins the Green Park community at an exciting time. We’ve already seen the impact that Green Park Station has had on the park’s connectivity.

“Alongside this, Mapletree is kickstarting its £7.9 million investment programme to introduce a range of new amenities to further enhance our residents’ work lives and wellbeing. We’re thrilled to welcome Wood to Green Park.”

Agents for Green Park are Campbell Gordon and Cushman & Wakefield.

Jonathan Mannings, founder and managing director of Thames Valley commercial property specialists Rare, said: “This is fantastic news for Green Park and the wider Thames Valley market where deals have been in very short supply this year.

“It highlights that occupiers are willing to pay for the best quality space and now the working from home fad is in terminal decline, it vindicates Mapletree’s decision to undertake a speculative phase at Green Park.

“It will be interesting to learn more about their plans to further enhance the levels of amenity at Green Park. Whilst there is little doubt that the station has improved rail connectivity to the park, occupiers still require coffee shops, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores.

“It will also be interesting to see what happens with the 180,000 sq ft former Huawei headquarters which was vacated last year and has stood empty since.

“With its proximity to junction 11 of the M4 and rail connections to Oxford, it’s possible that we may see the building being repurposed to accommodate an occupier from the life sciences sector particularly following Lonza’s decision to relocate from Slough to Thames Valley Park.

“Reading has the potential to provide the much needed overflow capacity to the life sciences sector which has, hitherto, focussed on Oxford and stripped the city of most of its existing office supply.

“Whilst work has now started on delivering almost one million sq ft at Oxford North, Reading already has a similar supply of available space that could quickly be repurposed to provide lab space and it must, therefore, be well placed to benefit from the demand generated by that sector.

“It is also to be hoped that there will soon be evidence of other hi-tech Thames Valley occupiers taking the opportunity to relocate from dated stock to new or well refurbished space during the course of 2024.

“I fully expect that by this time next year we will witness significant lettings at Campus which is well positioned to capitalise on new requirements entering the market.”

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