May 2022 saw the official opening of Bee House by MP David Johnston. This has been a £12.4m refurbishment of a 25 year old building on Milton Park, which has now been turned into Oxfordshire’s largest flexible workspace, consisting of:
• 51 private offices from 110 sqft- 2574 sqft
• 11 lettable stores
• 8 meeting rooms with 6-145 person capacity
• A large co-working area and designated desk offices
• 4 Phone booths
• 2 Quiet rooms for nursing mothers and those who pray
• A large café with full prep kitchen
The building is set to be highly sustainable with an anticipated BREAMM Excellent certificate, EPC B rating, Bioretention Swales in the external landscaping, chemical free cleaning, EV car charging and electrical bike charger, along with Smart Spaces technology to run the building as efficiently as possible and finally but most importantly there will be Bee Hives on the roof!
Our team, headed by Senior Associate Director & Head of Flexible Workspaces Nikki Gibson, has been working on the project for 3 years. Having run Milton Park Innovation Centre at an average of 96% occupancy from 2017 to 2019, and only a 4% decrease over the pandemic, there was a clear demand for more flexible space in the area and our client MEPC made the bold decision to build a speculative double the size flexible workspace, just 200 meters down the road from Milton Park Innovation Centre. The target for year 1 was to reach 20% occupancy and as of the 18th June we have already hit 43% and we have people snapping at our heels to take memberships within the Honeycomb Co-working area which will be opening in July.
This has been a development to management project, with Ashdown Phillips having been on the selection board for the architects, consulting on the design of the building and taking the lead on the implementation of Smart Spaces set up for the building.