The London Road South site within the Harlow Enterprise Zone is being developed by Goldacre Ventures, on behalf of the landowner, Harlow Properties Ltd. The site is the former home of Nortel Telecommunications and was the location for the invention in 1966 of the technology behind fibre optic cable. It has now been re-named Kao Park in honour of Sir Charles Kao who pioneered this work with George Hockham at STL, the precursor to Nortel.
The developments on this site will comprise the creation of a 32,000 square metre data centre complex (www.kaodata.com) combined with the development of a 20,000 square metre business park providing grade A office space (www.kaopark.com) on the remainder of the site, building on its tradition of innovation and new technology. The development will see the refurbishment of two of the larger buildings on the site, demolition of redundant laboratory space and the creation of the data centres on a former car park site. Work commenced on the site in December 2014 with the necessary demolitions, the importation of an upgraded power supply and building refurbishment.
The data centres will offer independent and world class data capacity for local, national and international companies and organisations of all sizes and shapes. The scheme has the potential to place Harlow firmly on the map of locations with global data capability. It is expected that this data capability on the site will provide a significant competitive advantage for Harlow Enterprise Zone and enable the attraction of businesses with this as a requirement. Construction is now underway and the first (of four) data centre building will be completed in December 2017. It is believed that Kao Park is the largest data centre development currently under construction in the south-east of England.
The demolition programme completed in July 2015 and September 2015 also saw the completion of the new access road to the Business Park and the signing of 15 year leases by the first two tenants there – Arrow Electronics and Raytheon UK. Both companies took up occupation in the autumn 2016 following the refurbishment programme, with around 600 people employed there between the two companies. In July 2017 Pearson also moved onto the site with approximately 350 people following the extensive refurbishment of the Kao Two building. Further lettings of this building are expected later this year.
The office space at Kao Park is now 75% pre-let with enquiries now being taken for the remaining space. Further enquiries should be addressed to the letting agent, Matt Willcock at CBRE – firstname.lastname@example.org ; 020 7182 2000.