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6 April, 2016 - 10:53 By Tony Quested

St John’s seeks consent for 64,400 sq ft office/R & D building

Planning consent is being sought for a 64,400 sq ft flagship office/R & D  building with flexible space at the coveted St John’s Innovation Park in Cambridge.

Subject to approval, the new facility would provide sorely needed R & D and office space in the popular northern fringe of the science & technology cluster. The building has been designed to accommodate multiple occupiers and let on a floor by floor basis – or to one occupier as a headquarters facility. There is also potential to sub-let parts of a floor if demand warrants it.

St John’s College, owner of the park, has appointed Turnstone Estates as development manager to assist delivery of the Maurice Wilkes Building which is arguably the most significant new office build in the northern fringe since Building 101 on Cambridge Science Park was completed eight years ago.

Savills, which has been named with Carter Jonas as letting agent for the Maurice Wilkes Building and is St John’s retained agent, completed a new-build for Japanese life science company Takeda a year ago on the Science Park but that was laboratory space rather than offices.

The proposal for the building has been scaled considerably from the original blueprint. Following a successful planning application for a new 37,000 sq ft office building, it was decided to submit a further application to enhance the development.

Subject to consent, the Maurice Wilkes Building will provide a significant headquarters opportunity, offering 64,400 sq ft of premium Grade A office and R & D space.

Designed with flexibility in mind, the building also has the potential to be sub-divided and multi-occupied.

Situated in the centre of the north Cambridge research and development cluster, the Innovation Park is currently home to a number of high profile technology occupiers including Samsung, Telstra and Qualcomm, as well as the world-renowned St John’s Innovation Centre.

Rob Sadler, head of office at Savills Cambridge, felt the new railway station to be opened up behind the Science Park would prove “a huge draw and tempt occupiers that would normally focus on the Hills Road/ Station Road area of Cambridge.”

He added: “The Innovation Park and indeed the northern cluster continues to attract international companies from start-ups to global corporate occupiers. On completion, the Maurice Wilkes Building will provide the much-needed extra space that will enable the park to carry on growing and attracting new business to Cambridge.”

Chris Goldsmith from Turnstone Estates, added: “We are delighted to be appointed by St John’s to deliver this landmark building. This adds to a collection of joint ventures with landowners spanning many years where we successfully deliver and develop high quality outcomes for our partners.”

Subject to a satisfactory planning outcome it is envisaged that work will start onsite at the end of this year.

• Maurice Wilkes, a former director of what became the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory, was a founding father of computer engineering. Sir Maurice led the Cambridge University team that built the world’s first operational stored-program computer, known as EDSAC.

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