EC1 is one of the City of London’s most diverse districts; Map of EC1.
Comprising the north west quadrant of the City, it stretches from City Road to the north to Gray’s Inn Road in the west and High Holborn at its southern edge.
Smithfield Meat Market (London Central Market) is the largest wholesale meat market in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. It is housed in three listed buildings and has been on the same site for over 500 years. The Museum of London is due to move to one of the old market buildings in 2024 contingent on the Meat Market moving to east London.
EC1 is also home to the Barbican Estate Complex, a late 1960’s estate comprising 2000 apartments, schools, including the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Barbican Arts Centre, the largest of its kind in Europe. The Brutalist architecture divides opinion but is widely unloved . Barts Hospital (St. Bartholomew’s Hospital), founded in 1123 is located in West Smithfield, in the heart of EC1.
Major financial occupiers in EC1 include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, AXA and Investec. Solicitors include Hogan Lovells, Irwin Mitchell, DLA Piper, and Sullivan & Cromwell. Major corporate tenants are Live Nation, Amazon, J Sainsbury, and De Beers. Serviced officer operators, in particular, WeWork have a significant presence around the core locations of Silicon Roundabout, Gray’s Inn Road, and High Holborn.
Key EC1 development hubs include Silicon Roundabout which has become a focus for Technology, Media , Telecommunications and Fintech companies and now lays claim to the highest concentration of these firms in the world. Derwent London’s White Collar Factory completed in 2017 was instrumental in providing contemporary specification space within its 240,000 sf, 16 storey tower and low rise office, retail and residential campus south of Old Street. On the northern limits of EC1, Angel is a focus for travel industry operators including Expedia whilst Farringdon to the west is home to a range of legal and media businesses and the recently completed 89,000 sf new build development, Kaleidoscope, in Lindsey Street, EC1
The renaissance of Clerkenwell over the past two decades has been remarkable. The combination of a creative, artisan hub with a most sought-after office and residential location, has been reflected in rents and prices on a par with or eclipsing those in more traditional City and Midtown locations.
The public transport infrastructure includes mainline services from Farringdon and City Thameslink with underground stations at Angel, Old Street, Holborn, Chancery Lane and Barbican. Farringdon Station will be one of London’s pivotal transport hubs when the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) opens in (a much delayed) 2020 and will be the only station in London that is connected to the Crossrail, Underground and Thameslink networks.
Helical’s seminal 3.2 acre Barts Square, EC1 mixed use development is located at the interface of the City with Farringdon/Clerkenwell. Comprising 250,000 sq ft of new offices, 236 premier apartments, 20,000 of retail and restaurant accommodation, and significant public realm, the Square has proved an unqualified draw and success. The full letting of the main 190,000 sq ft building “One Bartholomew” has been closely followed by the sale of 90 Bartholomew Close in April 2020 (notwithstanding and post the outbreak of COVID) to a French Investor (LFREPI) for £48.5 million (c.£1600 psf). This sale reflects a net initial yield of under 4% for the fully let 31,000 sq ft of office and retail investment.
There are a range of hotels in EC1 including the Rosewood Hotel, the Hoxton Holborn Hotel, the Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell, and Malmaison in Charterhouse Square. Restaurants include the Holborn Dining Room on High Holborn, Club Gascon on West Smithfield and the Eagle on Farringdon Road, London’s first gastropub.
The latest boost for EC1 comes with Orion/Pella’s planning application in May 2020 for an 800,000 sq ft redevelopment in Newgate Street, EC1 (in place of the current BT Headquarters (following its move to Aldgate in 2022) . The proposed 13-storey building will provide 750,000 sq ft of offices plus terrace to offer public accessible (following the extraordinary success of the Sky Garden in 20 Fenchurch Street. If approved the scheme is scheduled for completion in 2024.
BBG is active across the entire EC1 locality with letting instructions at Dunstan House and investment purchases including Sekforde Street.