The London office market has made a strong start to 2014, with London Wall Place scoring the biggest pre-let seen in the City of London since 2010.
Investment management business Schroders has agreed a deal to pre-let all 310,000 sq ft of office space within 1 London Wall Place.
Standing twelve storeys high, the new office block will provide high-grade space within what its developers – Brookfield and Oxford Properties – describe as a “landmark office building”.
It will be contrasted by 2 London Wall Place; a 16-storey building containing a further 190,000 sq ft of office space. Both buildings will stand in extensive landscaped grounds, as well as offering views across the City of London. 1 London Wall Place will also have a sky garden.
And while 2 London Wall Place has yet to secure a tenant, following Schroders’ commitment to 1 London Wall Place, the developers are confident that they will see a high level of interest for space within the second building.
On the decision to move their London HQ to the new development, Michael Dobson, Chief Executive of Schroders, said, “Schroders has grown substantially in recent years and 1 London Wall Place offers us a unique opportunity to consolidate all London employees under one roof, in a modern working environment and in an excellent location.”
Their decision to commit to a large pre-let follows hot on the heels of several reports showing an increase in take up for office space in the City.
According to Jones Lang LaSalle, office lettings in the City reached 6.8m sq ft in 2013 – the highest level since 2006. Cushman & Wakefield’s most recent report agrees that there has been a significant increase in letting activity in the City, in particular pointing to the increased volume of pre-lets which stood at just over 2m sq ft by the close of 2013. The agents also predict a further increase in pre-lets during 2014, stimulated in part by a shortage of space suitable for those with larger requirements.
In other words financial firms with large space requirements – like Schroders – are willing to wait for the right City space to become available, even if that means agreeing to a sizeable pre-let.
Indeed, Michael Cassidy, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Property Investment Board, believes that Schroders’ decision to move to London Wall Place “confirms the City as a natural home for world-leading financial and professional services firms.”
Construction work on London Wall Place is expected to begin in July this year and reach completion in 2016.
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