Dukes Court acquisition secures Woking's economic vitality
24 November 2017
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One of the largest central Woking office complexes, Dukes Court, has been purchased by Woking Borough Council in a move that will safeguard Woking's economic vitality by securing local jobs and future employment opportunities.
With over 500,000 square feet of office space either lost or in danger of being lost for residential use, Woking Borough Council considered it critical that Dukes Court remains as offices.
Dukes Court is a key strategic town centre asset offering circa 224,000 square feet of prime office space arranged over five blocks. The site is located within a short walk from Woking Railway Station, with London just 25 minutes away, and strong road links to the highway network.
The purchase of Dukes Court will enable the Council, through the Woking Integrated Transport Project, to make substantial improvements to the highway network by moving its access to Stanley Road. This will allow the closure of Duke Street between the junctions of Locke Way and The Broadway to create a landscaped pedestrian public plaza with retail and restaurant opportunities alongside 157 homes being provided by Thameswey Housing Ltd at Elizabeth House.
Modifications will also be made to the junction of Maybury Road, Stanley Road and The Broadway to improve pedestrian and cyclist connectivity with the bus stops, taxi rank and railway station.
Richard Stokes, MD of managing agent Property Initiatives, said: "We are delighted to be working with Woking Borough Council on Dukes Court, a building we have managed for over 20 years. Dukes Court is a key strategic asset for the town centre, and we and the tenants, are equally pleased about not only protecting the office space long term, but also excited about the future plans for the proposed plaza, and general improvements to the environment around the property. This will create a wonderful public space and further improve tenant retention."
Cllr David Bittleston, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: "The acquisition of Dukes Court is a significant step towards underpinning the medium to long-term economic vitality of the town by ensuring Dukes Court remains as office space.
"Over recent years Woking has lost vital employment space and we recognise that the current investment market is reluctant to invest in speculative office developments. Without prime town centre office space, there is a genuine risk that jobs for local people and future employment opportunities could be lost.
"The purchase of Dukes Court enhances our wider investment and supports the growth of the town's eastern quarter. Through the Victoria Square development we are creating an inspiring destination for businesses, a place where people will want to live and work, and our town's infrastructure and highways works that will meet the needs of future generations.
"These investments also complement the works to convert Elizabeth House to residential properties by our housing development subsidiary, Thamsewey Housing Ltd, providing much needed homes in a central location, close to public transport.
"These exciting developments continue to support our vision of transforming Woking to a modern, forward-thinking area that demands success. We are Woking."