Welcome to the inaugural Silicon Roundabout “Five minutes with…” a series of quick interviews with key business leaders in the Silicon Roundabout area.
This weeks “Five Minutes” is with Tom Appleton of Rocket Investments an investment company focused on delivering mixed use commercial property in and around the Silicon Roundabout. Tom is the co-founder of Rocket Investments and has been instrumental in the planning and development of Linen Court a 40,000 sq ft building just north of Old Street roundabout.
Tell us about Rocket Investments?
Rocket Investments is a private development company that favours mixed use development, traditionally its activities have been around the City Road and Old Street area. Rocket Investments have developed ,hotels, retail and more latterly Office and Student Housing. Rocket Investments has recently embarked on a Residential and office development in the Old Street area.
You secured 10 East Road, just north of Old Street roundabout in 2007, well before the phrase ‘Silicon Roundabout’ entered the ‘dictionary’. Would you say Rocket were visionaries?
Not so much visionaries as other firms were already there. What we did was identify it as a good location for high quality student housing and following this we also saw the need for hotel accommodation and through the mixed use concept office space. The office space will be due for letting in November 2011.
What does the phrase ‘Silicon Roundabout‘ mean to Rocket?
Silicon Roundabout means a lot to us as we can see the potential benefit of cumulative attraction. There is already a demand for residential and hotel accommodation in the area. Traditionally cutting edge businesses have been here but in a much smaller and more pepper pot fashion. With the ‘Silicon Roundabout’ name attached it will attract the big tech companies that can make a difference, not just by taking up office space but providing people to shop in the shops and eat in the restaurants. We are glad that David Cameron has put some government weight behind establishing the area.
Linen Court and Crown House are both significant developments that are going to be brought to the market right at the core of the ‘Silicon Roundabout‘ community. What are they and what will they bring to the area?
Linen Court is an 42,000 sq ft NIA office building over 10 floors so c.4,000 sq ft per floor and would suit many of these SME tech companies. It is a full spec office building as you would expect in the City Core, however we are able to offer more competitive rents. It is also the only real new build full spec office building that will have entered the silicon roundabout market.
Crown House is currently tenanted. We do have a long term plan for this building to include a mix of Residential and Office, however it is fairly early in the day on this one.
What is on the horizon for Rocket?
More mixed use development around the City Fringe and to stay on top of what is happening at Silicon Roundabout, to work with fellow stake and landholders in the area to ensure the vision is a success
In the Evening Standard on 6th May it was reported that you had written to David Cameron asking if he would cut the ribbon on one of your developments! Did he ever reply?
He did send me a most courteous reply unfortunately though his diary is full!
Thank you Tom.
To find out more about Rocket Investments visit their website at www.rocket-investments.com
Alternatively, to find out more about available property in the Silicon Roundabout area contact Kushner Property at www.kushnerproperty.com