Thanks to its railway station – a mainstay on the monopoly board – everyone has heard of Marylebone. But it’s the area’s central West End location, with Mayfair and Soho to the south, Paddington to the west and Noho to the east, which makes it well worth a look as a business base.
A brief history of Marylebone
Formerly a grand residential neighbourhood where the wealthiest in the realm entertained during the London season, Marylebone is still one of the West End’s leading residential locations today. The area is now also a thriving business district, with a reputation as a leading location for private healthcare, particularly along Harley Street.
Marylebone once also incorporated Noho – then known as East Marylebone. However, during the twentieth century this area developed its own distinct identity; something which is now firmly established.
What’s going on?
The world-famous Baker Street is the hub of the Baker Street Quarter – an area stretching from Marylebone Road to Oxford Street which has recently been designated as a business improvement district. The BID’s flagship building is 10 Portman Square – a Grade A office development which recently reached completion.
Over at 82 Baker Street, refurbishment work has begun to create 100,000 sq ft of contemporary office space for creative agency Publicis who expect to return to the area in 2014.
Meanwhile, in the Harley Street Conservation Area, refurbishment work has reached completion on Coca-Cola’s new European HQ. The global food giant is set to move into its new offices later this year.
Modern Marylebone is a mix of professional services, healthcare and media companies. Along Harley Street, a range of firms offering private medical, dental and counselling services can be found, all looking to make the most of this prestigious address. However, it’s not all healthcare; Coca-Cola is soon to move into its new European HQ which is based in the Harley Street area.
In the Baker Street Quarter, investment management firm Aspect Capital, and Saudi oil company Aramco can both be found within the new development at 10 Portman Square.
Thanks to Marylebone’s close proximity to the popular media districts of Soho and Noho, a number of creative and media agencies can also be found within the area. AMV BBDO – the UK’s biggest communications agency – can be found on the Marylebone Road, while digital communications agency Isobar is based on Regent’s Place. Publicis agency will return to the area in 2014 when the refurbishment of their Baker Street offices is complete.
Office space in Marylebone
Marylebone’s many period properties mean that businesses looking for traditional, heritage architecture are spoilt for choice. Today, even the grand properties on Cavendish Square, Manchester Square and Portman Square are home to office space. And it’s not just conventional, long-term lease space on offer – the area is also home to a selection of flexible office space.
These offices on Manchester Square, for example, offer an incredibly light, bright workspace, where contemporary styling meets period features. Meanwhile, this Grade II listed building on Harley Street offers premium flexible space at the heart of the healthcare district.
While a wide range of styles can be accommodated, overall, Marylebone office space is characterised by heritage buildings, housing immaculately presented interiors.
What next for Marylebone?
At first glance, Marylebone’s heritage landscape and period buildings are the biggest limit to dramatic redevelopments. However, Coca-Cola’s newly completed offices, based in the Harley Street Conservation Area, demonstrate how Edwardian buildings can be married with contemporary development in a sympathetic manner.
And while Marylebone may not be the place for bold contemporary architecture and skyscrapers, this is a large part of its attraction for businesses who prefer a more traditional approach. Most importantly of all, its central location within easy reach of Mayfair, Soho, Noho and Paddington continues to make it a highly popular location.
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(Image by Matt From London via Flickr.)