Property agents Savills to move out of Hardwick House in the city

PUBLISHED: 15:21 10 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:03 10 July 2018

Hardwick House, Agricultural Hall Plain, Norwich, the current home of Savills. Pic: www.edp24.co.uk

Hardwick House, Agricultural Hall Plain, Norwich, the current home of Savills. Pic: www.edp24.co.uk

Hardwick House, one of the city’s most architecturally stunning buildings, is losing its main tenant after Savills announced today it is relocating to a new office a few streets away.

Inside Lawrence House, St Andrew's Hill, where Savills is relocating to. Pic: www.bidwells.co.ukInside Lawrence House, St Andrew's Hill, where Savills is relocating to. Pic: www.bidwells.co.uk

The property agents Savills, in the business of helping others move, announced today they are relocating - leaving the prestigious Hardwick House office in the city where they have operated for the past decade.

Savills will vacate the grand neo-classical stone building on Agricultural Hall Plain, at the top of Prince of Wales Road, considered one of the city’s most architecturally stunning landmarks, in September, moving into the much less grand but newly refurbished Lawrence House, 5, St Andrew’s Hill, just a few streets away.

The move leaves a question mark over what will happen to Hardwick House, which is for sale and earlier this year was under offer with an investor willing to pay close to its £1.6 million price tag.

Lawrence House, St Andrew's Hill, Norwich - where Savills are relocating to. Pic: www.bidwells.co.ukLawrence House, St Andrew's Hill, Norwich - where Savills are relocating to. Pic: www.bidwells.co.uk

However, it was confirmed today that this sale fell through after Savills, paying rent of £130,000 per annum, exercised a break clause, enabling it to vacate ahead of the end of its lease, which did not expire until 2023.

Will Jones, partner and head of commercial at Bidwells, the agents selling Hardwick House, said it was a question whether the office space would be relet or whether the building, which also includes a three bedroom penthouse and 23 long leasehold flats, would be sold with the vacant ground floor office space.

He said: “There has been so many offices used for residential that there is a shortage in Norwich and so it may be that we can let it quickly and it may have an alternative use. When it was under offer, the Savills break clause was always looming so now, we may be able to let it on a longer lease and add some value.”

David Merrick, Savills. Pic: RMG Photography 
www.rmg-photography.co.ukDavid Merrick, Savills. Pic: RMG Photography www.rmg-photography.co.uk

The new office Savills is moving to boasts 6,713 sqft of space and is a brick fronted building, providing offices on several floors. It recently underwent an extensive refurbishment including an impressive entrance created with the help of an interior designer and larger windows, specially for Savills to display properties.

Savills’ head of office, David Merrick, said: “This change of location within the city centre gives us the modern, efficient and adaptable base we need to serve our clients and staff.

“Our spacious new office is in a prominent part of the city – ideally positioned for the traditional business and retail sector as well as Norwich’s lively arts and cultural scene. We are very much looking forward to this next chapter and the opportunities ahead.”

Hardwick House was designed by Philip Hardwick and it opened in January 1866 as Harvey and Hudson’s Crown Bank, later taken over by the Post Office which was there for almost a century. Savills has been operating in Norwich since 1950.

What would you like to see Hardwick House sold for?

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