Harbour Energy has secured 34,000 sq. ft. of Grade A office space at Aberdeen’s Prime Four Business Park in Kingswells, in a deal brokered by independent commercial property consultancy Knight Frank.
The energy company will occupy the entirety of Unit 9 at Prime Four. The modern two-storey office building, arranged over four wings, is rated BREEAM ‘very good’ and its maintenance and engineering installations incorporate a range of low and zero-carbon technologies to reduce energy consumption.
Knight Frank represented Schlumberger, the current occupier of the space, with FG Burnett acting on behalf of Harbour Energy.
The deal marks the third property transaction during 2023 in Aberdeen involving one of the energy majors. Shell also relocated to 100,000 sq. ft. of prime office space at the Silver Fin Building on Union Street and BP extended its 192,000 sq. ft. lease at Stoneywood – the Granite City’s largest office transaction of 2023 – with Knight Frank involved in all three deals.
Eric Shearer, head of office at Knight Frank Aberdeen, said: “We would like to express our gratitude to our clients and the other agents involved for getting these deals done, in what has been a difficult market. It has become increasingly clear in Aberdeen over the last 12 months that occupiers need to plan for the future and provide high quality accommodation for their staff, in order to encourage them back to the office.”
Knight Frank said there are now emerging indications that it is proving more difficult for occupiers to secure the right property in Aberdeen, which suggests the gap between supply and demand is beginning to close in the city. Grade A vacancy has dropped to under 2% – the lowest on record for the city.
Matt Park, partner at Knight Frank Aberdeen, commented: “The emphasis on prioritising high-quality space, which has been evident since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, remains a noteworthy trend. Occupiers are placing a growing importance on the highest quality buildings in their decision-making process and, as a consequence, Grade A availability has dropped to a record low.”
Eric Shearer added: “The health of the Aberdeen commercial property market is still fundamentally tied to the price of brent crude, which has thankfully been trending at more than $70 per barrel for the last two years. This is driving strong occupier demand for commercial real estate and a significant increase in deal flow since the lows of the pandemic and that is making it more competitive for occupiers that want to secure the best space. Planning ahead will be more important than it has been for some time.”