JR Smart’s 10-storey John Street office building in Cardiff reaches key milestone: Knight Frank

Construction of a new 113,000 sq ft office building at John Street in central Cardiff has reached a key milestone, with a topping out ceremony to mark reaching its tallest point.

The final stage in the concrete frame of the 10th storey has been completed on the building being constructed at Callaghan Square in Cardiff’s Central Business District.

In addition to highly-specified office space with 13,000 sq ft floor plates, the John Street building features a range of amenities including a tenant’s business lounge, coffee shop, generous shower and changing provision, drying facilities, secure cycle storage and a PT and yoga suite. The 3,500 sq ft roof-top terrace offers tenants dedicated outside space with spectacular views of the city centre, Cardiff Bay and beyond.

Gareth Smart, managing director of JR Smart which is developing John Street, said: “Reaching this advanced stage of construction during the remarkable challenges of the Covid pandemic is a tribute to the determination of our development team to get the job done.  Including, of course, our sub-contractors – many of which are local businesses.”

Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas said: “Despite COVID-19, Cardiff is still experiencing demand for Grade A office space and it’s important this demand is met as we look to recover from the pandemic and look to bring new jobs to the city.

“Historically Cardiff has had a lack of Grade A office space, compared with other core cities in the UK, so addressing that is an important part of our economic strategy and I’m delighted to see the progress made on the John Street development.

“There is little doubt that the pandemic has changed the way businesses and organisations operate, but there will always be a demand for high-quality office space in the city, even as part of any businesses’ hybrid-working model.

“As the city recovers, the need for office space should increase even further and this new development combines high-quality office space with a range of amenities for tenants to use, as well as bicycle storage to encourage active travel which is good to see.”

Global property consultancy Knight Frank has been appointed as sole letting agents at John Street. Mark Sutton, partner in Knight Frank’s Cardiff office agency team, said: “  Once complete the building will provide superb office space capable of accommodating more than 1,000 staff.

“There has been an undersupply of prime office space in Cardiff for several years, and John Street is the only new office building currently being speculatively developed in the city.

“There is a growing view among occupiers that the office will continue to play a key role in their operational strategy moving forward. However, the employer and the staff physically occupying buildings will demand more from their office space – in terms of the quality, specification and the amenities available as well as how the communal areas interact with the office floor. John Street takes all of these requirements into account and, as a result, we are confident that it will be of huge appeal as we return from Covid.

“JR Smart’s commitment to build out a development of this size in such extraordinary times is huge testament to their confidence in Cardiff’s strength as a UK regional business destination.”

The John Street office building recently became only the second building in Wales to achieve a Wired Certified Gold rating for its digital connectivity and infrastructure.

JR Smart has already delivered and let 370,000 sq ft of offices at the adjacent seven-acre Capital Quarter development.