The Channel logo

News

By | Simon Sharwood 21st May 2014 11:37

Waterfront flats plan for IBM's UK HQ as housing market goes bananas

Big margins lurking near Big Blue as ever

Office space leased by IBM at its UK headquarters could become waterfront apartments – if a planning application submitted to Portsmouth City Council is approved.

The North Harbour Unit Trust, which filed the paperwork, wants a ”partial change of use to 108 residential units" at Big Blue's base in the Lakeside development on Western Road in the seaside city.

One of the documents points out that IBM's decreasing need for office space means it moved out of some offices in 2006. Those spaces were chopped up and leased to others.

The paperwork [PDF] goes on to say that “in 2015, IBM's lease on Building Complex 9000 comes to an end, and the building will be vacant from that date”. The application suggests nobody wants office space on the scale IBM will vacate, and that 108 two-bedroom units are a better use of the building.

The application for permission to convert some of the complex into homes seems not to be a sign IBM is leaving Portsmouth. Local paper The News reported that Big Blue still calls the city its UK home, but that increasingly mobile workers and job cuts means it no longer needs quite so much office space.

And, well, the UK's housing market is on the verge of going supernova. A spokesman for IBM was not available for comment. ®

comment icon Read 21 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

Walking on water, image via Shutterstock

Chris Mellor

IDC stats reveal who's who in the backup appliance bearpit
Carry on Cleo

Gavin Clarke

Infamy, infamy, Amazon and Microsoft have all got it in for me!

Tim Anderson

Also signals stronger cross-platform tools, access to new markets

Features

Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world
hacker
Mostly it's financial crime. Here's what all the cool kids' terms mean in English
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson
Plenty of bumps in the 40-year road for Mac makers
single pain of glass