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London's Famed House Music Destination, the Ministry of Sound, Ventures into Co-Working

Concept Grew Out of Popularity of Offices That Felt 'Very West Coast'
May 31, 2018
LONDON -- The Ministry of Sound, this city's famed house music destination, is preparing to debut a workspace concept that might be described as co-working meets private member's club.

Speaking to CoStar News, Lohan Presencer, chief executive of Ministry of Sound, said the famous nightclub had received such a positive reception for its initial 50,000 square feet co-working offering - scheduled to launch July 2--that it is now on the hunt for a second, 100,000 square foot location.

The initial space, in the former Victorian Letts diaries factory at 79-81 Borough Rd. in Southwark, London, was fashioned by the prominent architecture and design practice Squire & Partners. It targets people working in the creative industries and offers around 800 desks across the top four floors as well as a 70-foot bar on the entire ground floor, an immersive technology studio, a 36-seater cinema, sound proof production suites, events space, a restaurant and year-round outdoor courtyard serving coffee, cocktails and drinks to members and guests.

The Ministry of Sound leased the building from landlord Hollybrook and worked up its co-working plans after selling its record company business in 2016 to Sony.

Presencer said around 40% of the building has already been presold to occupiers taking licenses for desks and there had been significant interest from creative industry start-ups and small companies.

Presencer said the group was now looking for a second venue of likely twice the size close to its Elephant & Castle neighborhood as it sought to "transform flexible workspace in the way Soho House has transformed hospitality" - a reference to the private members' business aimed at those in the arts and media that has branched out into clubs, hotels and other venues.

Presencer said the move into curating a flexible workspace scheme had been born out of the popularity of its offices in Elephant & Castle with staff and visitors.

"We had 200 staff and a buzzing hub of young creative people and everybody told us what a great environment it was to work in. We pondered why that was. It was very West Coast. We decided it is the people that make the space, and it is about the facilities. We had a big night club, a gym and radio and recording studios in the building. It was the template.

"When we sold the record company a couple of years ago we were in a position to bring the dream to life. The secret weapon is our location. This is the last part of central London to go through the transformation it is going through, and we can still deliver something incredibly well connected that is affordable for people."

Presencer says the group has been able to find 90% of its tenants through word of mouth because of its historic relationships.

"The clubbers who came to us at first have in many cases started their own creative businesses and many are now very successful. But finding office space is a diversion from their core business. They do not want to spend a lot of time dealing with landlords and negotiating leases.

"They also want to be part of a community of like-minded businesses and we curate this."
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