Formerly named “Persimmon House” RO acquired this head office building from Standard Life Investments in December 2013 for £4.25m. Showing great development potential this impressive building also benefits from an excellent location with great transport links and accessibility to London. The 1.37 acre site included a 22,101 sf ft office building.
Weybridge is positioned approximately 40 km (25 miles) from south west London and is an established M25 office location attracting a large number of international and national corporations. Brooklands estate, within the perimeter of the historic Brooklands motor racing circuit, is home to one of the largest clusters of blue-chip occupiers in the South East, including Sony, Procter & Gamble, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Cargill, LG and Mercedes-Benz World. It sits directly opposite the renowned St George’s Hill Estate.
Working with architects Tate Hindle RO Real Estate set to dramatically transform the layout and appearance. With a £6m investment construction started in early 2016 and the building was stripped back to the structural form and the original internal atrium was infilled. Over 10,000 sq ft was added with an extension to the second floor and addition of a third floor both with large private terraces with views over the Brooklands estate.
Contractor Oakmont finished in the summer of 2017, the new Dakota building now offered 39,461 sq ft of grade A office space across three floors with new air conditioning, intelligent LED lighting and significantly increased parking areas.
With the focus on health and wellbeing new shower and changing facilities, secure bike storage and electric vehicle charge points were introduced. A shuttle bus service was also made available in 2018 connecting nearby hotels, The Heights Business Park and train station.
In 2019 the business lounge was added to the ground floor to provide tenants with a communal space for greeting visitors, enjoying some refreshments and importantly, a creative area for employees to collaborate or relax when taking a break.
Dakota was always a very special project, in 2018 it also became the first RO property to introduce Fitwel certification. Not only the first for the RO, Dakota became the first multi-tenanted building in Europe to achieve Fitwel certification. Following Fitwel practices and guidelines at Dakota and subsequent developments, RO Real Estate has continued to focus on providing healthy buildings that can help to improve occupant health.
Tenants and sale
In 2019 Dakota welcomed two highly regarded companies, Robert Half and Yoooserv. Robert Half is the world’s second largest recruitment company, taking the entire third floor equating to 3,131 sq. ft.
The RO philosophy of “In Business to do Business” helped support the creation of Yoooserv within the Dakota building. With a significant contribution to the fit-out costs supporting this local business launch as an exciting provider of upmarket co-working space. Taking 9,397 sq. ft. on the ground floor, Yoooserv offers virtual, serviced or co-working spaces, desk hire and meeting rooms.
In February 2021 Dakota was sold to Surrey County Council for a total consideration of £15.9 million.
Surrey will occupy the first and second floors, comprising circa 22,000 sq. ft, with staff relocating from County Hall in Kingston. With overall space reduced from around 50,000 sqm to 20,000 sqm, the move is expected to save SCC around £3m per year, from £7m to £4m, and reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. *