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21 May, 2020 - 13:04 By Kate Sweeney

Sentec takes first lease at Cambridge’s iconic Radio House

Sentec, a globally leading supplier of smart home technology and consultancy services, has taken the maiden lease on the iconic Radio House office scheme in Cambridge – recently refurbished by owner Orchard Street Investment Management.

Sentec has agreed to a 10-year lease at a rent of £32 per sq ft and will be taking 13,989 sq ft of office space across the ground floor of the distinctive building. 

The business will relocate and expand its office and R & D facilities from nearby premises in Cambridge’s mid-town submarket of Chesterton.

This letting follows an extensive refurbishment project of the property, which was acquired by Orchard Street in 2011. Originally built in the 1950s, Radio House features a prominent ‘wavy’ roof and comprises two floors of office space totalling 43,379 sq ft. 

The comprehensive refurbishment, designed by architects Aukett Swanke, has transformed the art deco office building to Grade A quality, while deliberately retaining its industrial and architecturally appealing aesthetic. Features include a striking new double height reception and open floor plans to create a unique sense of space, as well as a range of modern facilities aimed at increasing occupier wellbeing. 

Sustainability was a key consideration throughout the design process, which led to the property achieving a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Radio House sits between the city centre and the northern fringe business parks and benefits from strong transport links via car, bicycle, foot or public transport. 

The immediate area offers a range of local amenities, while Cambridge’s city centre is easily accessible and can be reached in just seven minutes by bicycle. 

Regular national train services operate from both Cambridge and Cambridge North train stations, with London Kings Cross and London Stansted airport just 45 and 31 minutes away respectively. 

Cambridge is firmly cemented as the UK’s centre of innovation, with a number of globally leading technology and life science enterprises, including Apple, Microsoft and AstraZeneca, operating out of the area.

This letting takes the building to one-third let, with considerable interest from a range of prospective tenants for the remaining 7,450 sq ft of space in a self-contained suite at ground level and 21,940 sq ft on the first floor.

Jamie Munday at Orchard Street said: “In addition to the high-quality, BREEAM-Excellent office space on offer, Sentec was attracted to Radio House thanks to the property’s ability to accommodate a broad range of R & D functions, as well as its location in the middle of the UK’s thriving centre of technology and life sciences. 

“We remain firm believers in the long-term strength of the Cambridge office market and despite the challenging economic backdrop caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this letting demonstrates the enduring benefit of investing in flexible, high quality and sustainable buildings.”

George Craig, surveyor at co-letting agent Bidwells, added: “This deal demonstrates the quality of the refurbishment undertaken by Orchard Street in an iconic Cambridge building and also illustrates continued confidence within the Cambridge R & D sector. Sentec’s decision to remain in Chesterton further enhances its establishment as a science and technology location.”

Orchard Street was advised by Bidwells and Knight Frank while Sentec was advised by Cushman & Wakefield.

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