As London developers struggle through the remnants of the financial crisis, they are looking to outside sources to help with cash flow. Hollywood has stepped in significantly, offering to turn empty offices in London into film sets in order to provide both income and publicity for struggling landlords.
More and more films and television shows are being filmed in London as developers happily open their doors to Hollywood to offset loses they are seeing due to the tough economy. In addition, many places in London are also offering space to events like London Fashion Week, pop up shops and even film crews who want rooftops views for the upcoming Olympic games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Mark Hughes-Webb is the managing director of SPACE-2 Consulting and part of his job is to find buildings for shoots and events. “There has been a sea change in the way landlords deal with empty space since the financial crisis,” said Hughes-Webb. “They are more focused on cash flow as shareholders want to know they are working their assets.”
Office vacancy rates in London’s financial district have doubled since 2007 and perhaps as a result, SPACE-2 Consulting’s turnover has almost doubled in that same time.
In addition to filling spaces and generating fast cash flow for developers, this phenomenon of renting space to events and film crews is also a great way to publicize for the buildings.
Hughes-Webb added, “It should not have taken the recession for developers to get more creative and work out there is cash to be made.