WeWork has signed to take tenancy of the iconic post-modern One Poultry building in the heart of the City, ahead of its refurbishment completing in March 2018, reinforcing the rapid transformation of Bank from financial district into an energetic and creative new hub.
The iconic Grade II* listed building overlooking Bank Station has been sensitively transformed by Aermont, with development manager General Projects and architects BuckleyGrayYeoman, into a design-led creative HQ, following the relocation of former tenant, financial services company Aviva.
The new building will offer 110,000sqft of Grade A office space with inspirational gallery-style volumes and a new 4,000sqft reception, making it a benchmark workspace for the changing face of the City of London. Additional features include an underground complex for cyclists and 25,000sqft of new independent retail and leisure activities at the ground and concourse levels. The grand staircase will also be reopened and used as a private entrance off Bank Junction.
New tenant WeWork, a global network of co-working spaces with its headquarter in New York, already has established locations in Southwark, West London and Central London where it attracts creative entrepreneurs and start up businesses.
Its decision to take space in One Poultry as its flagship building, follows the opening of the Soho House Group’s new hotel, The Ned London in the former Midland Bank headquarters, opposite, earlier this year, and the opening of Bloomberg’s new European headquarters, designed by Foster + Partners at neighbouring Bloomberg Place in October.
Together these developments mark the City’s vibrant future as a dynamic hub of leisure, business, culture and amenity, bringing thousands of creative staff into the City each day.
This new creative hub surrounding Bank station is part of a surge in creative businesses in recent years that is supplementing the traditional dominance of financial services in the area. According to the City of London Corporation’s City Statistics research, although financial services is still the biggest sector by far, the number of technology, media and communication jobs rose by 44% in the City between 2010 and 2015.
Jacob Loftus, CEO General Projects said:
“Our ambition for One Poultry is to create an inspirational building which meets the needs of today’s creative sector businesses, whilst celebrating and reconstituting the building’s original splendour.
“It is at the heart of the City’s vibrant future and we are proud to play a part in it.”
WeWork’s Patrick Nelson said: “We’re delighted to complete the acquisition of One Poultry, an iconic building with which to mark the 30th WeWork in the UK. Bank continues to evolve into a modern version of the city, and we’re excited to be a part of that. We know its fantastic location, access to excellent amenities and postmodern design will appeal to our community of 23,000 members.”
Gareth Banner, Managing Director of The Ned:
“The City is home to far more creatives than many realise and this looks set to continue. We are extremely positive about how the area is evolving.”
The City of London Corporation has also recently launched a Culture Mile initiative to promote the Square Mile as an artistic destination.
Chris Hayward, Chairman of the Planning & Transportation Committee at the City of London Corporation said:
“The City of London is changing. With nearly 99% of City firms now SMEs and the lines blurring between the City and surrounding tech hubs such as Shoreditch, technology, media and telecommunications now represents 8% of the City workforce. In the last 12 months we have seen a host of start-ups move into the City including companies such as Booking.com and Deliveroo.
“As the fourth largest funder of the arts in the UK, we continue to explore innovative ways to attract creative talent.
“We have invested in free, high-capacity, public wifi and broadband, recently reviewed how we can work with City landlords, developers and occupiers to embrace trends such as co-working and we continue to pioneer public realm enhancements such as the Bank junction safety scheme.
“We also remain committed to supporting the growth of financial and professional services, with an additional 1.25 million square metres of office space under construction that has the potential to accommodate 75,000 workers.
Whilst the building has been vacant, General Projects and Aermont have hosted series of art led and creative pop-ups, events and exhibitions at One Poultry to reposition the building as a space for creatives.