Microsoft agrees deal on new Cambridge HQ offices

Posted on by John Cronin

Microsoft Research has agreed to a multi-million pound deal for new headquarters offices in Cambridge.

In a £37m deal announced last week by Orchard Street Investment Management, Microsoft Research has signed for a new headquarters office scheme to be built at the CB1 development. Construction of the 77,000 sq ft building is to start immediately and a completion date of winter 2012 is expected.

Gary Felce, Partner at Orchard Street, said: “[This is] a landmark transaction for the Cambridge city centre office market, setting a new tone and a standard for the next wave of development to follow.”

CB1 OfficeCB1 (pictured) is a large, mixed-use scheme planned for a 26-acre site next to Cambridge mainline station. Developers Brookgate have plans for approximately 500,000 sq ft of Grade A office space along with student accommodation, residential, retail and hotel space. The revised scheme, announced last August, is a joint venture with Network Rail and a new station square is also planned.

The deal with Microsoft is seen as significant for the project and further commercial deals are now anticipated. The new-build headquarter building will be the first, new Cambridge office project seen in the city centre for more than 25 years.

The CB1 scheme has endured stop-start progress. The project was mothballed for much of 2009 due to former developer Ashwell Property Group entering into administration in December of that year. Brookgate was then formed and in summer 2010 had to submit revised plans for the first phase of scheme after the student accommodation buildings were described as “anywhere architecture” (pdf link).

Microsoft Research was represented by agents Jones Lang LaSalle.


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