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A new report on the cost of commercial space in various parts of the world has thrown up some surprising findings, not least the fact that offices in Edinburgh are now more expensive to rent than those in Manhattan, New York.
CB Richard Ellis puts the typical cost of renting office space in the Scottish capital at £44.50 per square foot, compared with £42.38 in what has traditionally been the capital of much of America’s economic prowess.
Edinburgh isn’t even Scotland’s largest city but its office space is out-pricing equivalent options in most of the UK and Europe, as well as the most active central business districts in America’s leading cities.
Reporting on the subject today, the Herald newspaper in Scotland has noted the problems that expensive office space is causing small firms in and around the city, with development planners being partly blamed for the situation.
“The latest official data suggests that there has only been a decidedly modest improvement in the performance of the planning system in Scotland, with fewer than half of all major business and industry applications being dealt with within the target period,” said David Lonsdale from the Scottish Confederation of British Industry.
Colin Borland from the Federation of Small Businesses added: “The FSB has argued that we need more appropriately sized and priced office accommodation for new starts and small, growing businesses.
“In many parts of the country, turning empty, redundant retail units into affordable office space could give town centres a new lease of life and make it easier for the home-based business to move to the next stage.”
Debate looks set to continue among those with an interest in Edinburgh office space but the price of offices in Manhattan could soon be on the rise if Colliers International’s recent assertion on rising demand in the New York business district turns out to be accurate.