What the Foxtons man did next

ROMA

ROMANS were the first to master the art of mixing business with their all-important leisure time.

Jon Hunt – the property entrepreneur who made £375m selling estate agency Foxtons in 2007 – has come up with his own concept of combining the two: an office-rental club with all the perks of a five star hotel.

Dryland – what a sailor hopes to reach from out at sea — will officially launch its first site on Kensington High Street this month.

It has a swanky cafe at the front, open to all, then three marbled floors of pods, offices and conference rooms behind, for members’ use only.

It is also equipped with lounge areas, a library and a 31-seater cinema room complete with gourmet popcorn. What more could an over-worked entrepreneur ask for?

Membership ranges from £139 a month for basic access to £1,299 to be a first-class member, which gets you access to a garden terrace.

So who will be using the club and is there demand for more flexible office space? Hunt certainly believes so. “The idea was driven by the fact that traditional serviced offices are blue and grey and three star – you go there because you have to, not because you want to,” he told The Capitalist.

“Dryland is the complete opposite, it’s about great service, great design, great technology in a great location.”

Almost 300 members have signed up so far, the majority from the financial services sector, followed by tech, education and property. Hunt expects Dryland to be fully booked within two years of opening.

Hunt, who is estimated to have amassed a wealth of £882m, is eyeing further sites, if all goes well. Holborn is next, where he has already bought a site, followed by the City and Soho.