Skip to main content

London has always been a city that constantly renews itself. Echoes of old London can be found throughout the modern city even today. Unlike with other cities, the British capital has grown organically and incrementally, with new developments emerging amongst older neighbours rather than being segregated to newer districts (unlike Dubai or New York, for example).

Walking through London, you can find endless examples of this. Down Street Underground Station, for instance, was once a tube stop on the Piccadilly line, before being repurposed as a military bunker, and is now playing host to a retail outlet. Rather than limiting London’s growth, the ability of the city to incorporate its past into its future is one of its core strengths; a differentiating factor that attracts both tourism and business and makes London one of the great cities of the world.

Major refurbishments in London

Even before COVID, major refurbishments were afoot. For example, it was announced in 2015 that the Smithfield Meat Market was to become the new home of the Museum of London, whilst the stunning Battersea Power Station has been slowly transformed (after many false starts) from a hub of heavy industry into chic flats and offices which will soon play host to Apple’s London office. But the pandemic, and in particular the transformation of working and living habits caused by lockdowns, has created new opportunities for construction companies to capitalise upon.

New trends

One major trend in this space will be the continuing refurbishment of commercial blocks into residential ones. Semi-permanent working from home will create a significant oversupply of commercial property in London, particularly with regards to lower-quality blocks in peripheral areas. At the same time, the country is faced with a major undersupply of residential homes that are becoming a significant choke on economic progress. Areas such as Croydon and Birmingham have already experienced significant success converting commercial units into blocks of studio to two-bedroom flats ideal for young professionals.

New opportunities for construction firms

All this will necessitate significant construction activity. Whilst converting units is logistically simpler than building new ones, it’s obvious that office blocks simply don’t have many of the necessities of residential life. This further creates opportunities for construction firms.

In addition to main contractors coordinating the repurposing of these buildings, an entire ecosystem will be able to spring up focused on refurbishment. London has survived plagues, fires, riots and even the Blitz; the secret to its success has always lain in its ability to transform itself, and post-COVID, it will be no different.

For more information on this, or to learn more about how your construction and refurbishment needs can best be served, contact Virtus Contracts today. As one of the leading construction contractors in London, we are experts in refurbishment and fit-outs of offices and would be happy to discuss any queries you have.

Leave a Reply