With the anticipated influx of visitors expected during the upcoming Olympic Games in London, space is at a premium. Landlords, including commercial property ones, are getting creative to help meet the demand for space. Temporary tenants are not being especially picky at present, and landlords are prepared to rent out all available space during the Games.
The city of London is expecting 11 million fans, athletes and sponsors to arrive in what is already Europe’s second-most crowded city next month. The huge increase in population means there is an increased demand for temporary shops to carry clothing, souvenirs and other items, as well as storage facilities. Media outlets require good vantage points for television cameras, which means landlords have the opportunity to make some money from what had previously been nothing more than dead space.
The Games will run from 27 July – 12 August. Homeowners who have space to rent have already anticipated the increased demand for space by increasing their asking price by up to six times the normal rate. Commercial landlords are also increasing the rates of their asking prices.
In Beijing and Athens, events were either held in outlying areas or neighbourhoods were demolished to create venues specifically for the Games. Most of the sites where events will be held during the London Summer Olympics are in built-up areas.
A former limestone quarry near the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, southeast England is being offered for hire to contractors looking for temporary staff accommodation during the Games. The site is located close to a high-speed rail link, which means that anyone staying there can travel to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in a very reasonable 30 minutes.
Empty shops are in high demand in anticipation of the Games, and ones which are situated close to popular shopping areas like Oxford Street and Covent Garden do not last long. Retailers are arranging to rent these spaces to open temporary shops to sell items like high-end clothing during the Games. Depending on the size of the space and its location, landlords are charging anywhere from a few hundred to £20,000 to rent a store which may be open anywhere from one day to two weeks.
The closer an available building is to the Olympic Park, the more a landlord will be able to charge for rent during the Games. Rather than thinking about what the space is currently used for, now is the time for commercial property owners to be creative about what they can offer a prospective tenant and how much occupying the space would be worth during the 2012 Summer Olympics.
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