Initially taking 5,000 sq ft at Cobalt 13a in 2013 DNV GL today announce their expansion to take 10,000 sq ft on the 1st floor of 13a which also houses Barnardos and Balfour Beatty, leaving only 5,000 sq ft remaining in the multi-occupied office building.
DNV whom specialise in the maritime, oil and gas, energy and business assurance markets will move into the larger premises later in the year. The company, which was founded in 1864, comprises of approximately 16,000 employees across the group operating in over 100 countries.
Letting activity at Cobalt in 2014 has underlined the popularity of Cobalt Park with employers by letting 185,000 sq ft in the year. Lettings include the biggest office leasing deal in the North East since 2009 of 78,000 sq ft to Utilitywise, 40,000 sq ft to Siemens, 25,000 sq ft to HP, 10,000 sq ft to Accenture, 10,000 sq ft to G4S, 11,000 sq ft to Perfect Image and 5,000 sq ft each to Barnardos and IBM.
These new occupiers add to the already strong tenant line up at the park which also includes Proctor & Gamble, Hewlett Packard, EE and Santander to name a few, employing 13,000 staff in total.
Garry Ward, Highbridge Director said “We are delighted that DNV GL chose Cobalt to increase their operations further. DNV are the seventh occupier to extend their operations and this is testament to the delivery of a first class business location.”
Aidan Baker, Director at BNP Paribas Real Estate, joint letting agent for the scheme added “The success of 2014, where Cobalt accounted for approximately a third of total out of town take up is down to the recognition of occupiers wishing to take the advantage and cost savings associated with occupying the best quality space available in the market coupled with attractive lease terms and unrivalled tenant amenities and public transport options. Current enquiry levels are strong and further lettings are expected this year.”
Elsewhere on the park Highbridge have fully let their 26,000 sq ft Cobalt Central retail development with a diverse range of tenants including Spud & Lettuce café, 4,000 sq ft Tesco express store, Greggs, Chisholm’s bookmakers, Navaho Coffee Shop plus 2,850 sq ft Let to Quantum Elite Legal Professional Services & 13,700 sq ft of serviced offices on the first floor.
Cobalt’s unrivalled transport links have been vital in connecting the regions workforce to jobs at the site which claims a recruitment catchment of over 1.1 million people, the developers have been hugely proactive in travel planning for staff and bus services are a vital part of the jigsaw. Recognition that accessibility would be a key factor in attracting investment led to the creation of an on-site travel centre with its own dedicated Travel Team since 2006. The travel team have been highly successful in helping to develop a comprehensive public transport network, including the flagship ‘Cobalt Clipper’ and Route19 high-frequency bus services.