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Ben Parkinson
Ben Parkinson
  • 1 Minute Read
  • 22nd October 2012

Ex Foxtons chief to open luxury offices

Jon Hunt, founder of London based estate agents Foxtons, has announced plans to open a series of luxury serviced offices for “the spoilt businessman”.

The property magnate, who sold Foxtons to BC Partners for a rumoured £375m in 2007, intends to expand his company Dryland into the serviced office industry following the successful opening of his prototype centre in High Street Kensington last November.

His plans for the new centres include access to bespoke lounges, a chauffeur driven Maserati service, private dining courtesy of in-house chefs and comprehensive concierge service.

He told the Telegraph: “We want people to think of this as their permanent place of business and we’ll look after you and offer you a great service. We won’t overcharge you, we won’t rip you off.”

Having shrewdly sold Foxtons just as the global property market bubble was about to burst and with 40 years’ experience in property under his belt, Hunt sees this as the optimum time to re-invest in commercial buildings.

He said: “I was lucky as hell. It gave me the cash at the right time in the cycle. It was a lucky break.

“I’ve in property since I was 18. I’ve been through a few recessions, but there’s a time when it gets so ridiculously cheap you say even if it does drop another 10pc it doesn’t matter, or another 20pc.

“We bought it specifically to try a new model, this model, something we’d been dreaming about for years.”

The first Dryland office in High Street Kensington has the capacity to house 650 workstations, of which 320 are currently occupied by full time members.

Ocubis, Hunt’s London serviced office business, already has planning permission for the refurbishment of a conventional office in Holborn, and claims to be looking at 25 to 35 further possible investment opportunities per day.

Hunt’s states that his model is designed with both the present and future of the market in mind, admitting to being driven by an obsession for details he has held since he was a child.

He said: “When I was a kid, if a builder put an electric shaving point in the bathroom, I’d write it in the details. It was a big thing. Now you wouldn’t mention it would you? So if you don’t build for the future you become outmoded very quickly.

“Whatever goodies you put in today, tomorrow become normal.”