CASE STUDY
GNR8 Clarendon Road

The RO acquired 49 Clarendon Road formerly named “Victoria House” in 2017, the second asset for the RO in Watford's major office area adding to 56 Clarendon Road.

 

The 0.64 acre site with 22,000 sq ft office space over four floors represented great potential for redevelopment and an opportunity to add value to the building.


The location

GNR8 is in a prominent position within easy walking distance to the amenities of the town centre and Watford Junction train station. Watford is one of the major towns in Hertfordshire and a commuter-belt property hotspot, situated 17 miles to the north west of London and inside the M25 motorway.

 

Major national and multi-national companies have headquartered their businesses in Watford, especially in and around Clarendon Road, due to its excellent accessibility to London via Watford Junction station and the motorway network. Clarendon Road has also undergone a major transformation, improving the general look and creating a pedestrian-friendly environment.

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The development

Working with architects and interior designers TB Bennet RO Real Estate began the major refurbishment. The 1980’s structure was to be repurposed into a modern office space with industrial urban styling benefiting from collaborative spaces and a host of features aimed at positively impacting tenant wellbeing. Marketing agency Hekkta created the new brand styling and the building was renamed GNR8. A reference to the innovative and entrepreneurial culture amongst young, dynamic and tech companies.

 

GNR8 set to offer a niche in Watford with an individual style and focus on tenant wellness. With a £2.2m investment construction started in 2019 with refurbishment of the core and common areas. This included a striking new reception and open-plan business lounge extending the space from c500 to c1000 sq ft.  The frontage was landscaped with planters and seating areas and black paint to the brick work completed the look whilst continuing the industrial design. 

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Victoria House before development

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Fitwel certification

Fitwel is a world leading certification system that provides the best practices for creating, constructing and operating a healthy building. With help from Element Four to follow the guidelines in creating a healthy building, GNR8 became only the second 3 Star Fitwel certified building in the UK.

With the focus on occupant health and wellbeing key features were introduced including;

 

  • Shower and changing facilities

  • Lactation room

  • Bookable breakout spaces

  • Secure bike storage

  • External amenity space 

  • Electric vehicle charge points

Ample natural light and fresh air remain core components of the Fitwel model, as part of the ongoing operations air quality monitoring was introduced to review and maintain air quality.

External amenity space at the front entrance complements the redevelopment of Clarendon Road and provides tenants with outside meeting and relaxation space. In addition, the location offers easy walkable access to public transport and local amenities. 

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Tenants

Following the completion of works in November 2020 GNR8 has welcomed 4 new tenants with ITC renewing their lease and taking more space on the 1st floor. With nine tenants including Hays, Anker Technology, CH Robinson Worldwide and Lily & Roo over 10,000 sq ft is now taken.

Front of house reception services are provided by LAH, as well as managing day-to-day tenant needs and maintaining communal spaces LAH help create the positive GNR8 community. Regular events and competitions are run, with tenant communication via a newsletter and an interactive screen in the business lounge sharing local information and building updates.
 

In a commitment to cut carbon and save energy GNR8 is entered into the CUBE competition, which is designed to bring landlords and tenants together to deliver energy savings in commercial buildings.