Cambridge: Location and contacts satisfy international appetite
Date of Article
Aug 22 2012

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22 August 2012 , The purchase of Cambridge's Granta Park by US real estate investment company, BioMed Realty in the summer (June) proves that parks and agents in key locations can carry as much as clout as size and international reputation when it comes to doing key deals with investors with a global portfolio, according to Will Mooney of Carter Jonas.

In paying tribute to agents Dodson Jones - his commercial peers in the city who were behind the £127 million sale - Will Mooney, partner and joint head of Carter Jonas's agency and professional services in the eastern region, sees the 'deal of the year' as blazing a trail for agents with significant presence in cities and on parks which will be known to foreign investors from the outset.

And it's not necessarily just those 'big beast' agents who, themselves, operate globally.

Will Mooney explains: "Centres of research excellence in the UK, such as Cambridge and Oxford, start off on the radar for any company with an investment portfolio centred in niche sectors looking for a prestige location in which to invest. 

"The package then tends to anchor around specialist parks and research establishments with solid reputations, access to London and, obviously, availability and price and agent expertise and ability."

By these measures, according to Will Mooney, it's the active presence and contacts of the agent rather than the size of the firm which is beginning to count for more in the current market.

Referencing the opening of an EMEA headquarters in Cambridge earlier this year, at Vision Park in Histon, by AsiaInfo-Linkage -  a Chinese telecoms software company - Will Mooney notes the role of two established Cambridge 'names' in growing the company and while not property agents, the pair are very much 'fixers'.

"It’s no coincidence that former Geneva Technology executives Andy Tiller and Steve Newton are leading the Beijing-based giant’s European expansion plans from a Cambridge base.

"It’s also no surprise that they are looking for a move to a flagship HQ in one of Cambridge’s established park’s to accommodate rapid growth. 

"In securing this new HQ deal, I’m sure it’ll be agents’ presence, local knowledge and contacts that will count for more than its brand name or company size, alone."