London Office Space Market Up as Marque Developments Attract Interest

Central London

In a recent blog post, we explored findings from BNP Paribas that found take-up of conventional Central London office space had increased in Q4 2012 when compared to Q3 2012, thanks to an overwhelming boost in take-up of office space in The City. However, it appeared as though other regions in Central London have suffered, with all other areas having seen a decline in take-up during the same period.

Despite this apparent lack of city-wide demand, it certainly hasn’t damaged London’s reputation as a premier office space location. Last week we reported that Central London has overtaken Hong Kong as the most expensive office space location in the world – not bad for a country reportedly heading into a triple-dip recession.

And this week there’s more good news, as Land Securities Group PLC has announced that the London office market is showing definite signs of revival.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Land Securities has reported several new lettings on its conventional office space properties in London. Among them, its 36-storey office tower at 20 Fenchurch Street – better known as the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building – now has more than 50% of its space pre-let or in solicitors’ hands. This is “significantly ahead of targets” given that the building is still under construction, and is not due for completion until 2014.

According to Robert Noel, Chief Executive of Land Securities, “There’s an awful lot of space that has serious interest in it.”

He explained that many businesses have approaching lease expiries in properties that are “now out of date”, and they are using the lease expiry as an opportunity to set up in new and high-profile buildings. New tenants are also attracted to new office space because newer buildings typically make more efficient use of space, so the total amount of space required for each employee is often reduced. He added: “Our buildings are world class and the most efficient product in their marketplace.”

The ‘Walkie Talkie’ tower gained its nickname due to its distinctive wedge-shaped profile. Costing over £200m to construct, the property was designed by acclaimed architect Rafael Viñoly and features a top-heavy form which provides more space towards the upper levels, and requires a smaller amount of space at ground level. A large viewing deck and ‘sky gardens’ will be included on the top floor for public access.

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Author: Alec Ryan | | 0 Comments

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