Noho, Fitzrovia, call it what you will – this growing media destination north of Oxford Street is one of Central London’s ones to watch.
A brief history of Noho
Today Noho is a growing media and creative destination thanks to its close proximity to Soho, but it wasn’t so long ago that it was a predominantly residential area. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century its many artistic residents – from the writers Virginia Woolf and George Orwell, to painters John Constable and Walter Sickert – led to its reputation as a bohemian district.
It wasn’t until the post-war period that modern office blocks started appearing in the area. By the 1980s, the first broadcast and print media organisations began moving in.
Today around 50,000 people work in Fitzrovia, although the area has only around 6,500 residents.
Noho or Fitzrovia?
It all started back in 2008 when the Candy brothers named their apartment development as Noho Square. The backlash was almost instant, with some local residents protesting at what they saw as an attempt to rebrand the area.
However, the Fitzrovia name isn’t that old either, having been coined back in the 1930s or 40s. Before that, the area had no distinct identity of its own, and was incorporated into the neighbouring areas of Marylebone, Bloomsbury and North Soho.
Today, for those who see the district as an up-and-coming media location, it’s Noho. For those who have a strong connection to the area’s heritage it will always be Fitzrovia.
Noho office space
Noho has seen a surge of interest in recent years, from office developers and businesses looking to move into the area. This rise in popularity is largely down to the high demand and ever-rising rents of nearby Soho, which have driven an increasing number of media and creative businesses (traditionally Soho residents) to seek space a little further afield.
Noho, with its close proximity to Oxford Street and Regent Street means they still have access to that traditional media location – but lower rental costs on office space.
As a result, the office options in Noho just seem to keep growing, and that includes a healthy selection of flexible office space.
It’s predominantly found in period properties, such as this building on Fitzroy Square – an eighteenth-century gem which has 10,000 sq ft on offer over five storeys. Several business centres can also be found among the imposing buildings of Margaret Street – a key location at the heart of the district. Tottenham Court Road and Charlotte Street are home to some more modern office buildings.
What’s next for Noho?
In short; more office space and continued growth of its creative and media scene. While rental rates across Central London continue to rise, businesses are likely to continue heading to Noho as an affordable alternative to Soho.
The result is likely to be a strengthening of the area’s burgeoning media scene, with a host of smaller agencies and media companies heading to the area to take advantage of the presence of industry heavyweights such as ad giants Fallon, and media network MTV.
And while Saatchi & Saatchi is set to move out of Charlotte Street in 2014, worldwide digital media agency The Mill is heading into the area, with a purpose-built studio which it promises will be the most advanced digital facility in the world.
Find out more about office space in Noho here.
Image by Michael Duxbury via Flickr.