Arrival, a UK electric vehicle start-up that recently secured funding to expand, is set to double the size of its west London headquarters.
The firm has signed a deal with landlord, Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, to increase its office size at the Kensington Village site to around 80,000 square feet from 41,000 square feet, the Evening Standard can reveal.
Electric van maker Arrival earlier this this month said it had raised $118 million from funds managed by BlackRock. That will be used to help the group expand.
Arrival, which also has research and production sites in Banbury and Bicester, was founded in the capital in 2015 by entrepreneur Denis Sverdlov. It has a number of backers including BlackRock and UPS.
The latest London letting will be welcomed by the commercial property market which has had to cope with numerous bosses holding off on leasing decisions while staff continue to work from home due to the virus crisis.
Sveta Ershova, chief of talent, research and development at Arrival, said: “Culture is an integral part of the company and facilitates our ability to innovate. Ensuring that our employees have the best possible environment to work in to achieve their goals is crucial to the success of the business.”
Kensington Village, home to former Victorian warehouses which have been redeveloped into workspaces, is used by a number of Arrival’s teams, including leadership, HR, and software engineering.
Jessica Berney, fund manager of Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, said: “There is considerable debate around whether the current experiment with remote working will lead to a step change in office demand after the virus. While it will be more common for people to work from home occasionally, we do not expect it to become the norm, as we still see the office as the place for collaboration, new ideas, training staff and meeting.”
Berney added: “We anticipate that the demand for good quality offices in big city centres and university towns will continue, driven by the growth in tech, life sciences, public bodies and professional services.”
A number of office lettings are expected to be signed in London, despite fears that businesses will hold off leasing decisions while people continue to work from home, according to research published last week.
Mike Prew and Andrew Gill, analysts at Jefferies, wrote in a report: “Of the 12m sq ft London offices under construction, 60% is taken, so there is an emerging scarcity and the pre-letting market is expected to be brisk.”