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Soho start

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London Lettings - September 2017

Central London office lettings in September 2017 reached a healthy 965,000 sq ft of deals from 61 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month. The September figure conforms to the current monthly average of just under 1m sq ft.

September was characterised by 14 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Boston Consulting's 123,000 sq ft pre-let at 80 Charlotte Street, W1, Metro Bank's pre-let at 20 Old Bailey, EC4; Costain took 30,000 sq ft at Victoria House, WC1, and Mitie took 30,000 sq ft at The Shard, SE1.

Professional services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Boston Consulting deal. This was followed by financial services with the large deals involving Metro Bank. Property and Business services also performed well, helped by the lettings to Costain and Mitie. Office deals 'under offer' in central London increased slightly at 3.6m sq ft and pending deal volumes are healthy in nearly all sub-markets.

By area, the City accounted for 33pc of the office floorspace let in September at 314,000 sq ft. The West End saw 263,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 242,000 sq ft of lettings. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.1m sq ft in the City and 2.8m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 448,000 sq ft (46% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space resumed their recent strong showing.

Some 8.9m sq ft of offices were let in the first 3 quarters of 2017 to end of September 2017.

Metropolis research is currently monitoring 620 'live' London requirements, with deals for space of up to 2m sq ft due to sign in the next few months.

Cityoffices and Metropolis are working on an analysis of lease expiries which were due to expire in 2017 and the latest London Skyline report. Skyline will contain details of dozens of new office schemes under construction, planning applications and consents, with scheme by scheme detail on the Cityoffices.net website. Details on Cityoffices from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk - (27-10-2017)

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Central London Lettings - August 2017

Central London office lettings in August 2017 reached an exceptional 1.57m sq ft of deals from 58 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month. The August figure exceeds the current monthly average of just under 1m sq ft.

August was characterised by 13 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Deutsche Bank's 470,000 sq ft pre-let at 21 Moorfields, EC2: WeWork's two pre-lets at The Stage, EC2 and the nearby 'Shoreditch Exchange'; Kings College London took 73,000 sq ft at Roman Wall House, EC3, and Atos took 42,000 sq ft at Mid City Place, WC1.

Financial services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Deutsche Bank deal. This was followed by business services with large deals involvingWeWork. IT services also performed well, helped by the lettings to OpenText and Kobalt. Office deals 'under offer' in central London held steady at 3.5m sq ft and pending deal volumes are healthy in nearly all sub-markets.

By area, the City accounted for 68pc of the office floorspace let in August at 1,066,000 sq ft. The West End saw 233,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 145,000 sq ft of lettings. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.3m sq ft in the City and 2.9m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 1.2m sq ft (77% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space resumed their recent strong showing.

Metropolis research is currently monitoring 600 London requirements, with deals for space of up to 2.5m sq ft due to sign in the next few months.

Cityoffices and Metropolis are working on an autumn 2017 update to their twice yearly London Skyline report. The update will contain details of new office schemes under construction, planning applications and consents, with scheme by scheme detail on the Cityoffices.net website. Details on Cityoffices from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk - (29-09-2017)

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Central London Lettings - July 2017

Central London office lettings in July 2017 sustained a healthy 820,000 sq ft of deals from 48 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month. The July figure is close to the current monthly average of just under 1m sq ft.

July was characterised by 14 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Spotify's 104,000 sq ft deal at the Adelphi Building, WC2: law firm Withers pre-let 60,000 sq ft at 20 Old Bailey, EC4; Yahoo/AOL took 43,000 sq ft at Mid City Place, WC1 and HSBC pre-let 36,000 sq ft at 7 Cork Street in W1.

IT and tech services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Spotify and Yahoo deals. This was followed by professional services with large deals involving Withers and Bazalgette Tunnel. Financial services also performed well, helped by the lettings to HSBC and Redington. Office deals 'under offer' in central London held steady at 3.4m sq ft and pending deal volumes are healthy in nearly all sub-markets.

By area, the City accounted for 31pc of the office floorspace let in July at 250,000 sq ft. The West End saw 177,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 300,000 sq ft of lettings. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.2m sq ft in the City and 3m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 480,000 sq ft (58% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space resumed their recent strong showing.

Metropolis research is currently monitoring 600 London requirements, with deals for space of up to 3m sq ft due to sign in the next few months.

Cityoffices and Metropolis have just released releasing their twice yearly Skyline report on the London office construction market. The summer report features analysis of the 100 schemes under construction and the trends for the next wave of schemes. Details on Cityoffices from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk - (01-09-2017)

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Glasnost - Online Project, Contact & Image Management

London Lettings - June 2017

Central London office lettings in June 2017 bounced back just over 1.75m sq ft of deals from 108 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The June figure represents a near tripling of the 600,000 sq ft sq ft of lettings in May. It brings the Q2 2017 central London lettings to a very respectable 3.1m sq ft and comfortably above the 2.4m sq ft in Q1.

June was characterised by 14 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included WeWork's 283,000 sq ft pre-let of the under construction Southbank Place building, SE1: Framstore took 93,000 sq ft at 28 Chancery Lane, WC2; Industrial Light and Magic took 47,000 sq ft at Lacon House, Theobalds Road, WC1 and Hermes taking 46,000 sq ft at 150 Cheapside in EC2.

Business Services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by WeWork deals, this was followed by media and financial services with large deals involving Industrial Light and Hermes. IT services also performed well, helped by the lettings to Misys and Reply. Office deals 'under offer' in central London held steady at 3.5m sq ft and volumes are healthy in nearly all sub-markets.

By area, the City accounted for 32pc of the office floorspace let in June at 566,000 sq ft. The West End saw 315,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 400,000 sq ft of lettings, which was equalled by Southbank. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.3m sq ft in the City and 3m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 840,000 sq ft (48% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space resumed their recent strong showing.

Cityoffices and Metropolis have published their twice yearly Skyline report on the London office construction market. The summer 2017 report features analysis of the 100 schemes under construction and the trends for the next wave of schemes. Details on Cityoffices from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk - (27-07-2017)

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Central London office lettings in May 2017

Central London office lettings in May 2017 recorded just over 600,000 sq ft of deals from 40 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The May figure represents a fall on the 800,000 sq ft sq ft of lettings in April, but the number of deals remains close to recent the monthly average.

May was characterised by six office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Hearst Publishing's 71,000 sq ft deal at the LSQ Building in Leicester Square, WC2: WeWork took 70,000 sq ft at 1 Mark Square in London, EC2; Man Group taking 41,000 sq ft at 90 Upper Thames Street, London, EC4 and Petrochina taking 35,000 sq ft at the Adelphi Building in WC2.

Media topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Hearst Group deal, this was followed by business services bouyed by the serviced office sector and financial services with large deals involving Man Group and Hambro. Retail also performed well, helped by the lettings to Crabtree and Deliveroo. Office deals 'under offer' in central London rose to 3.6m sq ft and volumes are rising in nearly all sub-markets.

By area, the City accounted for 50pc of the office floorspace let in May at 300,000 sq ft - similar to the April level. The West End saw 90,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 167,000 sq ft of lettings. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.2m sq ft in the City and 3m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 150,000 sq ft (25% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space paused from the recent strong showing.

Cityoffices and Metropolis are shortly to release its twice yearly Skyline report on the London office construction market. The summer report features details of the 100 schemes under construction and the trends for the next wave of schemes. Details on Cityoffices from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk - (29-06-2017)

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April 2017 Central London Lettings

Central London office lettings in April 2017 recorded nearly 800,000 sq ft of deals from 41 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The April figure represents a fall on the 1.05m sq ft sq ft of lettings in March, but remains close to recent the monthly average.

April was characterised by 13 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Nex Group's 111,000 sq ft sublet at Fruit and Wool Exchange: Wither's 60,000 sq ft pre-let at 20 Old Bailey in London, EC4; BUPA taking 56,000 sq ft at Angel Court Tower, London, EC2 and Equinix taking 29,000 sq ft at the Pepper Store in EC2.

Financial services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Nex Group deal, this was followed by business services bouyed by the serviced office sector and professional services with large deals involving Withers and DLA Piper. Property and construction also performed well helped by the lettings to M7 Real Estate and Sir Robert McAlpine. Office deals 'under offer' in central London rose to 3m sq ft and volumes are rising in nearly all sub-markets.

By area, the City accounted for an improved 57pc of the office floorspace let in April at 440,000 sq ft - 50% up on the March level. The West End saw 160,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 130,000 sq ft of lettings. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3m sq ft in the City and 3m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 469,000 sq ft (60% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space maintained their recent strong showing.

Cityoffices and Metropolis are shortly to release its twice yearly Skyline report on the London office construction market. The summer report features details of the 100 schemes under construction and the trends for the next wave of schemes. Details on Cityoffices from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk - (26-05-2017)

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March 2017 London Lettings

Central London office lettings in March 2017 recorded nearly 1.05m sq ft of deals from 64 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The March's figure represents a rise on the 905,000 sq ft of lettings in February, and brings the Q1 2017 total upto nearly 2.6m sq ft of market activity, close to the recent average.

March was characterised by 13 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Cancer Research's 100,000 sq ft pre-let in Stratford: the Amazon's 89,000 expansion at Principal Place in London, E1; ITV taking 88,000 sq ft at Waterhouse Square, WC1 and HSBC taking 31,000 sq ft at 71 Queen Victoria Street, EC4.

Tech and IT services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Amazon deal, this was followed by the charity sector, headed by the Cancer Research transaction and media with large deals involving ITV and Buzzfeed. Business services also performed well helped by the lettings to Instant Offices and The Space. Office deals under offer in central London remain at 2.1m sq ft.

By area, the City accounted for an improved 40pc of the office floorspace let in March - a doubling of the February level. The West End saw 220,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 140,000 sq ft of lettings. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.5m sq ft in the City and 3.2m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 243,000 sq ft (23% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space maintained their recent strong showing.

Cityoffices and Metropolis are shortly to release its twice yearly Skyline report on the London office construction market. The Q1 report features details of the 100 schemes under construction and the trends for the next wave of schemes. Details on Cityoffices from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk - (21-04-2017)

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February Take-Up Soars

Central London office lettings in February 2017 recorded 905,000 sq ft of deals from 54 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The February figure represents a big rise on the 567,000 sq ft of lettings in January, to a more normal level of market activity.

February was characterised by 9 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included the Expedia's 136,000 expansion at the Angel Building in London, EC1; Arup pre-let 133,000 sq ft at Derwent London's under construction 80 Charlotte Street, London, W1 development which is due to complete around June 2019 and Office Group took 70,000 sq ft at 84 Eccleston Square, London, SW1. Pre-lets have accounted for over 35% of 2017's take-up to date.

Tech and IT services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Expedia deal, this was followed by property services with large deals involving Arup and Kier Property. Business services also performed well helped by the letting to the Office Group. Office deals under offer in central London stayed at 2.1m sq ft, including a large pending deal at 28 Chancery Lane, WC2.

By area, the City accounted for a modest 21pc of the office floorspace let in February - a fallback even from the 34pc in January. The West End saw an exceptional 450,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 220,000 sq ft of lettings more than the City. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 3.5m sq ft in the City and 3.2m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached an impressive 500,000 sq ft (55% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space maintained their recent strong showing.

Metropolis has just released its eagerly awaited London Fit-Out report for 2017. Details from Andy King at andy@metroinfo.co.uk - (30-03-2017)

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London Office Deals - January 2017

Central London office lettings in January 2017 recorded 567,000 sq ft of deals from 35 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The January figure represents a fallback from the exceptional 1.8m sq ft of lettings in December as a more normal level of market activity resumed.

January was characterised by 9 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included the McKinsey's 97,000 sq ft pre-letting of the under construction Post Building in London, WC1; COS Stores (H&M) took a 60,000 sq ft pre-let at the also under construction 1 New Oxford Street, WC1 and Antares Underwriting took 31,500 sq ft at 21 Lime Street, EC3.

Professional services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the McKinsey deal, this was followed by IT services with large lettings to Nexmo amongst others. Retail also performed well helped by the letting to the H&M. Office deals under offer in central London stayed at 2.1m sq ft after the stream of completed deals.

By area, the City accounted for a modest 34pc of the office floorspace let in January - a fallback even from the 44pc in December. The West End saw 150,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 195,000 sq ft of lettings as much as the City. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 4m sq ft in the City and 3m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached an impressive 306,000 sq ft (54% of the monthly total), as transactions for new space maintained their recent strong showing. - (09-03-2017)

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Central London Office Lettings – December 2016

Central London office lettings in December 2016 recorded over 1.8m sq ft of deals from 73 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The December figure represents a rise of 58% from the 1,050,000 sq ft total in November and was the highest monthly total of the year.

December was characterised by 19 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included the GPU's 536,000 sq ft letting of 20 Cabot Square, E14; Financial Times took 182,000 sq ft at Bracken House, EC4 and Barings took 109,000 sq ft at 20 Old Bailey, EC4.

Public services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the GPU deal, this was followed by financial services with large lettings to Barings, Argus and Marubeni. Media also performed well helped by the letting to the Financial Times. Office deals under offer in central London fell to 2 m sq ft after the stream of completed deals.

By area, the City accounted for 44pc of the office floorspace let in December - a fallback from the 78pc in November, but the 800,000 sq ft of transactions was still a healthy level. The West End saw 300,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 165,000 sq ft of lettings, Southbank contributed 60,000, but Docklands saw 550,000 sq ft in four new leases. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 4m sq ft in the City and 3m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 408,000 sq ft (23% of the total), as transactions for new space kept up a steady pace.

Take-up in central London for 2016 reached 11m sq ft, as predicted by Metropolis and Cityoffices. Some 600+ London searches remain outstanding for 2017. A more in depth report to follow for clients. - (20-01-2017)

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November London Letting and Merry Christmas

Central London office lettings in November 2016 recorded nearly 1,050,000 sq ft of deals from 45 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The November figure represents a rise of 17% from the 900,000 sq ft total in October and a rise in the number of office deals over the month.

November was characterised by 10 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, which included Freshfield's 300,000 sq ft pre-let at 100 Bishopsgate, EC2; Fidelity took 105,000 sq ft at 4 Cannon Street, EC4 and WeWork took 72,000 sq ft at The South Bank Tower, SE1.

Professional services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Freshfields deal, along with big lettings to Olswang and Nabarro, followed by the financial sector, boosted by deals to Fidelity and EQT. Business services also performed well helped by more lettings to WeWork. Office deals under offer in central London fell slightlt to 2.5m sq ft after deals in the City and one in Southbank.

By area, the City accounted for only 78pc of the office floorspace let in November - a big increase on the 18pc in October. The West End saw 70,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 20,000 sq ft of transactions, but Southbank again performed well with 70,000. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 4m sq ft in the City and 3m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached a remarkable 800,000 sq ft (76% of the total), as transactions for new space kept momentum.

Take-up in central London for January to November 2016 has so far reached 9.4m sq ft with December to come. With two or three large lettings pencilled in the yearly total could touch 11m sq ft.

Cityoffices wishes all its readers a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. - (21-12-2016)

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Central London Office Lettings – October 2016

Central London office lettings in October 2016 recorded over 900,000 sq ft of deals from 26 mid-large size transactions (5,000 sq ft+) during the month.

The October figure represents a rise of 26% from the 720,000 sq ft total in September and a rise in the number of deals over the month. However, much of the October total can be attributed to Apple's 500,000 sq ft pre-let at Battersea Power Station and remainder of the month was disappointing and would have been the lowest monthly take-up figure since April 2012.

October was characterised by 9 office deals over 20,000 sq ft, apart from Apple at Battersea; London Borough of Westminster took 57,000 sq ft at 5 Strand, WC2; Deliveroo took 51,000 sq ft at Cannon Bridge House, EC4 and The Economist took 25,000 sq ft at The Adelphi, WC2.

Computer services topped the table of lettings by sector, underpinned by the Apple deal, followed by media sector, boosted by deals to The Economist and Spark44. Public sector also performed well. Office deals under offer in central London edged up to around 3m sq ft and include two large pending deals in the City and one in Southbank. Enquiry levels are up slightly.

By area, the City accounted for only 18pc of the office floorspace let in October. The West End saw 100,000 sq ft of take-up. Midtown contributed 90,000 sq ft of transactions, but Southbank was predominant. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 4.5m sq ft in the City and 3.5m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 613,000 sq ft (65% of the total), as transactions for new space kept momentum.

New research currently being prepared by Metropolis and Cityoffices for a major report on London office construction, reveals that over 14m sq ft of offices are now underway in central London. - (17-11-2016)

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City tower to go ahead

AXA Investment Managers has decided to commence the construction of 22 Bishopsgate, EC2, its 1.4m sq ft office tower scheme, which was in doubt, post Brexit. AXA and Lipton Rogers expect to appoint a main contractor for the main build shortly, with work due to commence early in 2017. - (27-10-2016)

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London Lettings January 2016

Central London office lettings experienced a slow start to 2016 with only 787,000 sq ft of office space transacted in 32 deals in January 2016. The figure represented an almost halving of the strong December lettings total.

January was characterised by 7 deals over 20,000 sq ft, including WeWork at Eastbourne Terrace, W2; Rathbone Bros at Finsbury Circus, EC2 and Office Group at 91 Wimpole Street, W1.

Business services topped the table of lettings by sector, helped by WeWork's 106,000 sq ft and Office Group, followed by financial services boosted by Rathbone Brothers. Healthcare and professional sectors are also performing well. Office deals under offer fell to just over 2.5m sq ft.

By area, the City accounted for only just over a 25pc of the floorspace let in January. In contrast the West End had a good month with over 50pc of space transacted. Current London office demand is calculated to be around 4.5m sq ft in the City and 4m sq ft in the West End.

The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) let during the month reached 250,000 sq ft (32% of the total), as transactions for newly developed or refurbished space took a slightly smaller part of the total this month. Further details of schemes and pre-lets on Cityoffices.net. - (18-02-2016)

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Contractor for EC4 scheme

Blackstone has appointed ISG as contractor for the £59m refurbishment and construction of the speculative office scheme at 20 Old Bailey, London, EC4. The 21,832 sq m (235,000 sq ft) scheme, designed by Buckley Gray Yeoman, will incorporate a 4,723 sq m (50,800 sq ft) extension on the 6th and 7th levels and 2 new floors at levels 8 and 9. Work is due to commence in November 2015 with completion in early 2017. - (16-09-2015)

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The London Occupier Fit-Out Market 2010-2014

‘Living In A Pre-Let World’

Metropolis Property Research has released it’s latest report on the central London fit-out market 2010-2014.

The report ‘Living In A Pre-Let World’ provides an analysis and Top 10 rankings for firms involved in interior design and project management, fit out ‘build’, and agents advising tenants.

The No1 Ranked ‘TOP 10’ firms are:

No1 Interior Architect – TP Bennett TP Bennett has been ranked as London’s No1 interior architect with 4.2m sq ft of occupier interior fit-out projects 2010-2014.

No1 Fit-Out Contractor – ISG ISG has been ranked as London’s No1 fit out contractor with 3.8m sq ft of occupier fit-out projects 2010-2014.

No1 Interior Project Manager – CBRE CBRE has been ranked as London’s No1 project manager on interior fit out projects for occupiers with 3.7m sq ft of projects 2010-2014.

No1 Tenant’s Agent – CBRE CBRE has been ranked as London’s No1 tenant’s agent with 5.1m sq ft of occupier deals done 2010-2014.

Editorial Notes - In the five years covered by the research (2010-2014) a total of 54.4m sq ft of office space has been let in central London. Deals over 25,000 sq ft, which are the focus of the analysis, amounted to 30.6m sq ft, in 330 projects.

In the report ‘fit-out’ is defined as being the fitting out of new office space for those corporate occupiers signing deals for space in central London in the period 2010-2014. ***

The report ‘Living In A Pre-Let World’ is available from Metropolis Property Research. For details please contact Simon Sluszny – simon@metroinfo.co.uk - (01-07-2015)

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July 2014 London Lettings

Central London office lettings in July 2014 reached 1,200,000 sq ft in 55 medium or large deals, as the market saw another period of activity above the long term average month for office transactions. The monthly total was comfortably above the recent monthly average of 1m sq ft per month. July was characterised by large lettings to Mishcon de Reya, Dong Energy and Doctors Laboratory amongst others. The professional sector topped the table of lettings by sector. By area, the City accounted for more than half the deals, but less than 500,000 sq ft of the July deals total. Midtown and Docklands were strong contributors. The volume of grade A (newly built or refurbished office space) being let shows no sign of abating. Some 650,000 sq ft of the July total transacted was newly completed or refurbished. Fit-out company workloads are rising sharply. There are currently 7-8m sq ft of active London requirements on the Metropolis database and a further 2-3m sq ft of potential requirements in the pipeline. The media sector is rising strongly up the list of new requirements being added in the second half of 2014. - (28-08-2014)

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Central London Take-up in June 2014

Central London office letting in June 2014 reached 1,150,000 sq ft in 70 medium or large deals, as the market saw another above average month for office lettings. The quarterly total was 3.4m sq ft and the first half of the year totalled 6.5m sq ft. June was characterised by large lettings to China Construction Bank and Clarksons amongst others. Financial and media sectors were strong performers. By area the City accounted for less than 500,000 sq ft of the June total, however Midtown and Southbank were strong contributors. - (18-07-2014)

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Docklands scheme progress

Canary Wharf Group has bought ownership of the Wood Wharf Limited Partnership from British Waterways and Ballymore Properties. Canary Wharf Group will now have control of design over the 16.8 acre Wood Wharf mixed use development scheme site, which is immediately adjacent to the Canary Wharf. Wood Wharf will comprise 1.25 million square feet of residential development, 200,000 sq ft of retail, 3.1m sq ft of offices and a 200,000 sq ft hotel with a single outline planning consent in May 2009. Detailed consent was subsequently granted for the three office buildings closest to the Canary Wharf estate totalling 1.5m sq ft net in July 2009. - (20-01-2012)

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Towering Ambition

London’s next development cycle is now well underway with some 30 office schemes starting in the last six months, amounting to 510,962 sq m (5.5m sq ft) of new space coming on-stream.

Skyscrapers are topical again, and in this CityOffices newswire we look in detail at the unprecedented ‘clutch’ of new office towers (defined as 20+ storeys) nearing completion, underway and planned.

The last development cycle saw completion of the 37,160 sq m (398,000 sq ft), 34-storey Broadgate tower, EC2, now largely fully let; the 38,740 sq m (417,000 sq ft) 36-storey 125 Old Broad Street, EC2 has only 5,000 sq ft still available; the 55,091 sq m (593,000 sq ft), 36-storey Ropemaker Place, EC2, which is fully let; and the 25-storey, 30,750 sq m (331,000 sq ft) Drapers Gardens scheme in Throgmorton Avenue, EC2, which was pre-let.

All the above towers are in the City of London and interestingly there were no skyscrapers completed in Canary Wharf in the last cycle, or, less unusually, in the West End, Midtown or fringe. The almost-complete 59,921 sq m (645,000 sq ft), 46-storey Heron Tower in Bishopsgate, EC2, will end the tower building activity for the 2006-2011 property cycle.

The next cycle will see completion of the 75,901 sq m (817,000 sq ft), 80-storey, Shard, SE1 in 2012; the 63-storey, 111,482 sq m (1.2m sq ft) Pinnacle, EC2, in 2013; the 37-storey, 79,895 sq m (860,000 sq ft) 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3 (Walkie Talkie) and 47-storey, 67,075 sq m (722,000 sq ft) Leadenhall Building (Cheesegrater) both in 2014.

Schemes which are not yet under construction and may be completed in the next cycle are the 40-storey, 71,534 sq m (770,000 sq ft) 100 Bishopsgate, EC3, where a 2011 start is envisaged; the 22-storey, 27,870 sq m (300,000 sq ft), 60-70 St Mary Axe, EC3 (Can of Spam); and the 21-storey 93,440 sq m (1m sq ft) Aldgate Place, E1.

Elsewhere, a possible 20-storey plus scheme is being designed for Elizabeth House, and a 31-storey scheme for Kings Reach House, both in SE1. At Canary Wharf, the 2m sq ft redevelopment of Heron Quays is planned to include a 33-storey tower and there are still outstanding proposals for a 43-storey part office tower at Crossharbour; a 43-storey tower at Millharbour; and a 63-storey tower at the site formerly known as Columbus Tower in E14. In the West End, plans for the Victoria Interchange include a tower of up to 20-storeys.

The question is how successful are these new towers likely to be? The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe) in EC3, has rapidly became a London icon, but 10-years ago, post 9/11, it was very slow to let, with over 50% still vacant on completion. Other high-rise buildings such as Centrepoint in the West End and 1 Canada Square at Canary Wharf were slow to let in the early days. Despite these examples developers seem keener than ever to build towers.

In total some 315,868 sq m (3.4m sq ft) of office space is under construction in five office towers, but still available, with a further 260,126 sq m (2.8m sq ft) in towers that could start in 2011 or 2012. These are big numbers, however, to put it in context, the City of London saw lettings of new unoccupied office space of 260,126 sq m (2.8m sq ft) in 2010, so a single year’s take-up could almost fill them. The five towers will be completed over a four-year period, during which they will currently face limited competition from newly completed, large, low-rise schemes in the City.





Experience from completed towers such as Broadgate Tower, 125 Old Broad Street and Ropemaker Place shows that the majority of lettings tend to be signed-up after the development has been completed. In general, only a small proportion of a tower’s floorspace is pre-let before completion. However, the experience of the recent letting of 17,744 sq m (191,000 sq ft) to Aon at the Leadenhall Building may indicate a more active pre-let market than previously for the new London towers.

An analysis of the occupiers of recently completed towers shows that the major share (51%) is taken-up by financial services with professional services (including law), in second place (23%). With the just two sectors accounting for 74% of deals done it is no wonder that these are the main targets for developers and their agents. .



An unusual ‘bulge’ of lease expiry and breaks due in the period 2013-15 has partly contributed to developers enthusiasm in starting new schemes in the last few months; and in-turn this has led to developers with refurbishment schemes to also leap into competitive starts to achieve completion before the towers come on-stream.

The future of the next generation of towers will depend on attitude of the 200 medium to large office occupiers in the City of London now actively looking for space, or with lease expiries due in the next four years. If occupiers show the same enthusiasm for high-rise working as those firms moving in the previous office cycle, then the new towers coming to the London skyline will succeed. it will just take a little time.

Andy King
Director
CityOffices.net

- (20-05-2011)

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London Bounces Back – The central London Fit Out Market 2006-2010

Launched at MIPIM 2011. The analysis identifies the Top 10 interior firms, architects, fit out contractors, and project managers involved with projects between 2006 and 2010. - (09-03-2011)

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Office Futures: London, Paris, Frankfurt

London looks set to trounce Paris (and Frankfurt) in terms of office development activity over the next three years, which is bound to rekindle old rivalries. Hopefully this ‘win’ will be repeated in this weeks England v France game, and the findings set the scene for a lively MIPIM property event in Cannes.

London and Paris have both seen a substantial contraction in the levels of office development over the last two-years and an upsurge in office take-up in 2010, which has eaten into available space.

London is heading for a sharp revival in office completions from 2012 onwards, while the Paris market appears to be looking at a slower recovery at the moment. In Frankfurt, like most other European cities, office completions peaked in 2010 and a continued slowing over the next two years is anticipated.

This London revival is in contrast to the start of the last property cycle, which saw major office developments in Paris kick-off at least nine-month before London. This time around London is ahead, and at least eight major office schemes are expected to start construction by spring 2011.

Any reports of new office construction in central Paris are sparse at present, although office shortages will develop and lead to an increase in development activity, particularly refurbishment. In Frankfurt there is an oversupply of new office space and the high proportion of vacant (and unlettable) older space means refurbishment, rather than new build, is likely in the short-term.

Looking ahead, we foresee that the development cycle in London will prove to be about 12 months ahead of Paris, with construction activity rising sharply in London in 2011, followed by the start of an upswing in Paris in 2012.

The predicted levels of office development activity to 2013 are however, still relatively low, and likely to produce a severe demand and supply imbalance (for quality space) in both London and Paris. It is expected that development activity will continue to increase to meet demand, with the peak of the next development boom being 2014-2015.






- (22-02-2011)

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West End HQ nears completion

The new Greater London Magistrates Court Authority building is due for completion in summer 2011. The £50m, 9,700 sq m (104,410 sq ft) building designed by architect Hurd Roland Partnership is at the junction of Seymour Place and Marylebone Road, London, NW1 is approaching shell and core completion. Laing O’Rourke is the main contractor. - (04-02-2011)

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Victoria scheme start

Doughty Hanson and Terrace Hill Group have appointed contractor Kier to build offices and flats at Howick Place in London Victoria, SW1. Demolition of existing buildings is nearly complete and Kier is due to start work on the 280,000 sq ft One Howick Place scheme shortly. The mixed-use redevelopment will include offices, alongside 33 apartments and ground floor retail space. Rolfe Judd is the designer. - (27-01-2011)

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City tower underway

Construction of Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group's “Walkie Talkie” building has finally got underway at 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3. Piling for the Rafael Viñoly designed building has begun with completion to ground floor planned for February 2012 and final completion anticipated in early 2014. When complete, the 37 storey building will provide 690,000 sq ft grade A office space in the City of London, topped by a public sky garden. Canary Wharf Contractors Limited, is the construction manager. - (19-01-2011)

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Contractors tipped for City tower

Six major office scheme contractors are tipped to be competing to build British Land's £340 million 'Cheese grater' building in Leadenhall Building in Leadenhall Street, London, EC3. Mace, Skanska, Laing O'Rourke, Bovis Lend Lease, Balfour Beatty and Sir Robert McAlpine have been identified as front-runners for the project. - (17-12-2010)

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Office tower deal

Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group have formed the 20 Fenchurch Street Limited Partnership, a 50:50 joint venture to develop the Walkie Talkie office building in the City of London, at a development cost of £500m. The site has been sold by Land Securities to the Partnership for £90.2 million and will provide 690,000 sq ft of office space in EC3. Construction will begin in 2011 with Canary Wharf Contractors appointed as Construction Manager. - (19-10-2010)

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Office tower talks

Land Securities is now believed to be in talks with Songbird subsidary Canary Wharf Group to be the development partner and contractor for its 'Walkie Talkie' office tower scheme at 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3. The 660,000 sq ft mixed use development is expected to be complete by 2014. - (09-09-2010)

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Search for City tower sites

Brookfield, the Toronto-based developer and contractor, is seeking a City of London site to build another office tower, following its role on the Pinnacle, this time as developer. A shortage of prime office space may push rents back to their 2007 peak in three years, according to King Sturge. The company’s development unit has seen some “interesting opportunities” for an office building in the City of London, according to James Tuckey, chairman of Brookfield’s European arm. - (11-03-2010)

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Stanhope win Noho

Stanhope is now the developer of the NoHo Square scheme in Mortimer Street, London, W1. The 1.3ha (3 acre) NoHo site was owned by Kaupthing, the Icelandic bank, but a £50m deal will see Stanhope in control of a joint venture. It is thought that Kaupthing will write off £200m of debt on the project. The planned 82,776 sq m (891,000 sq ft) of luxury apartments and 32,980 sq m (355,000 sq ft) of offices is expected to be redesigned with a media industry focus. - (21-03-2009)

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Mayfair scheme for March 2009

Completion of D2 Private's 9,300 sq m (100,000 sq ft) speculative office building at 23 Savile Row, Mayfair, London, W1, designed by Eric Parry Architects, is expected in March 2009. The development manager of the scheme, which also has retail on the ground floor and six flats on the top two floors, is Stanhope. Mace is the main contractor at the old English Heritage Fortress House HQ. - (05-12-2008)

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Wood Wharf outline approved

Wood Wharf Limited Partnership, comprising British Waterways, Canary Wharf Group and Ballymore Properties, has had its outline planning application for the development approved. The plans for the 7ha (17 acre) Wood Wharf site in London, E14, include 455,221 sq m (4.9m) sq ft of offies, retail and leisure space and 1,668 apartments. The scheme includes a £50m S106 agreement and a £100m contribution to Crossrail. Wood Wharf will be developed as four phases. Reserved matters on Phase 1 will be submitted in 2009. - (06-11-2008)

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City completion

ING Real Estate has completed its 1,548 sq m (16,667 sq ft) office refurbishment of the seven-storey office and retail building at 2-4 Eastcheap, London, EC3. Tuffin Ferraby Taylor advised. Cuffe was main contractor and the letting agent is King Sturge. - (15-02-2008)

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Shard demolition plans

Teighmore, the consortium consisting of Sellar Property, CLS and Simon Halabi, is hoping to start demolition at the London Bridge Station (Shard of Glass) site in London, SE1, in mid October 2007. The demolition will take seven months. The main construction contract will not start until funding is in place but a Middle Eastern bank is said to be considering financing the £1bn scheme. Completion of the development is expected in 2010 or 2011. - (18-09-2007)

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Heron Tower preparation

Heron Tower Property Unit Trust has begun demolition work in preparation for construction of its 220m high office tower at 110 Bishopgate and Camomile Street in London, EC3. Site clearance works by contractor Skanska will be followed by construction in early 2007 for 2010 completion. The Heron Tower will be over 60,000 sq m (650,000 sq ft). Kohn Pederson Fox is the architect. - (07-07-2006)

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Hedge funds boost take up

Take up by financial services groups, including hedge funds and banks, has risen from 21% of total take up in 2004 to 37% over the last year according to research by Cushman & Wakefield. The research has also identified the impact of the Government's Lyons Review which has effectively put a moratorium on public sector deals. In the West End the public sector share of take up dropped from 32% in 2004 to just 9% over the last year. In contrast demand from hedge funds has helped push the financial services sector share of take up in the West End up from 17% to 32% over the same period. David Hume at Cushman & Wakefield has said that the figures show an "extremely healthy" market. - (06-07-2006)

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Bishops Square reaches 'Cat A' stage.

The Bishops Square development at Spitalfields will effectively reach 'Cat A' completion very soon. The 70,000 sq m (753,474 sq ft) building has been pre-let by a law firm and the main contractor should be finished on site during the next few weeks. - (06-06-2005)

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190 Great Portland Street on site

A contractor has been appointed for the £18m redevelopment of 190 Great Portland Street, W1. The scheme will provide 10,300 sq m (110,869 sq ft) of offices and 1,395 sq m (15,000 sq ft) of retail space, showroom and gym on the ground floor and basement. Construction has just begun and will take approximately 18-months. - (02-06-2005)

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Start date for 150 Cheapside

St Martin's Property Corporation’s planned 19,000 sq m (204,516 sq ft) 8-storey office scheme at 150 Cheapside, London EC2, has been granted detailed planning permission and a shortlist of main contractors has been drawn up. Sir Robert McAlpine, Carillion, Mowlem, Skanska and Balfour Beatty are all reported to be on the shortlist for the new office building. Demolition of the existing site (known as St. Vedast House) is likely to begin before the end of this year and the building should be ready during 2008. - (14-04-2005)

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Work starts on 71 Lombard Street.

Work has now gotten underway on the redevelopment of 71 Lombard Street, London EC3. The building is being renovated by IVG Asticus, which is acting as construction manager and appointed sub contractors for the building work, and should be ready to occupy during early 2007. When completed, the building will provide approximately 12,000 sq m (129,168 sq ft) of offices on floors 1-8 and 3,716 sq m (40,000 sq ft) of retail on the ground and mezzanine floors as well in the basement. The letting agents for the offices are DTZ and Savills and DTZ and Cushman are the agents for the retail. - (08-03-2005)

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Ludgate West to be enabled

Before Christmas, British Land is to begin enabling works on its 17,000 sqm (182,987 sq ft) Ludgate West development site on Farringdon Road. However, a start date for construction has not been determined nor has a main contractor appointed. Work may commence during 2005 but is unlikely without a sizeable pre-let. The architect is Skidmore Owings & Merrill - (27-11-2004)

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Shell looks at market conditions

Shell UK has not yet made a decision on a start date for its £200m, 60,000 sq m (646,000 sq ft) redevelopment called Belvedere Court at York Road, London, SE1. Shell is thought to be currently "assessing market conditions" before deciding when to tender for a main contractor for the project. - (16-11-2004)

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Treasury Office completed

Work on the 450,000 sq ft refurbishment of the Treasury Office (Phase 2) on Great George Street is to complete next week. The Foster & Partners designed scheme has been project managed by Stanhope under the Exchange Partners Consortium banner. Bovis Lend Lease has been acting as main contractor and Gardiner & Theobald was the Quantity Surveyor. - (12-11-2004)

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McAleer takes the Swiss

British Land has sold the Swiss Centre in Leicester Square, London WC2, to Northern Irish property developers McAleer & Rushe for a reported £47m. The most likely fate for the striking, but ugly, 9,300 sq m (100,000 sq ft) building is redevelopment into a mixed-used office and leisure complex. The new building is likely to include a hotel and recently the Irish hotel chain Jurys Doyle was linked to the site. It is worth noting that McAleer is Jurys regular contractor for its UK based hotels and should McAleer included a hotel in its plans then it is not unreasonable to hazard a guess as to who the operator will be. McAleer is declining to comment at this early stage. Jones Lang LaSalle represented British Land. - (25-10-2004)

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Happiness is a completed office

Benchmark started the redevelopment of its Soho site at 15-18 Golden Square, London W1, during autumn 2002 and has just completed. Benchmark awarded the main contract to Wates for the construction of a 5,295 sq m (57,000 sq ft) 6 storey building (now called ‘Happiness’), designed by TP Bennett. The scheme includes retail and restaurant on the ground floor with 5 floors of offices totaling 4,087 sq m (44,000 sq ft) above. The letting agents are DE & J Levy and Dunlop Heywood Lorenz. - (20-10-2004)

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Columbus Tower approved

Columbus Tower, a 63-storey, 246m high, skyscraper, has been approved by London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The building, designed by DMWR architects and Weintraub Associates, adjoins Canary Wharf and is at the western end of West India Quay, London, E14. The project needs a Section 106 agreement to be signed and will also to be referred to the Greater London Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority. Columbus Tower is to be developed by SKMC, controlled by the Abu Dhabi royal family, and Farnham Properties. The scheme includes 30,000 sq m (322,920 sq ft) of office space, a hotel and health club, 2,200 sq m (23,680 sq ft) of retail space and a winter garden. The development could be completed by 2007. GVA Grimley is the planning consultant and DTZ is advising on the commercial space. - (30-03-2004)

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Morgan Stanley bids higher

The Morgan Stanley led ‘Silvester’ consortium has teamed up with British Land to increase the offer for Canary Wharf to £1.7bn. The consortium has raised its previous bid by £100m to 292p a share, above the rival Branscan offer of 275p. British Land will contribute £125m and take a 14.5 per cent stake in the Silvestor consortium. - (30-03-2004)

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Morgan Stanley to raise offer?

Morgan Stanley is said to be looking for further equity backing to raise its bid for Canary Wharf and could have approached the government of Qatar, British Land and Liberty International. Morgan Stanley could be looking for an extra £200m for it’s bidding vehicle ‘Silvestor’ to raise its offer from 275p to over 292p and try to beat Brascan, which last week matched Morgan Stanley’s latest offer. The 14m sq ft Docklands office complex is now being valued at £1.6bn. The bids by Paul Riechmann, the former chairman of Canary Wharf collapsed two weeks ago and Brascan, the Canadian property and power company, is now thought to have the support of shareholders controlling over 24 per cent of the Canary Wharf shares. - (15-02-2004)

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Hammerson sale falls through

Hammerson has issued a statement on the London Stock Exchange to the effect that its deal to sell three office buildings to Fordgate, a private company, has fallen through. Fordate was to have paid around £122m for 21 Moorfields, London EC2, and Grant Thornton House and 40, Melton Street, Euston Square, NW1. Hammerson has said that it has "fulfilled the outstanding conditions" and that "the proposed purchaser has failed to complete the transaction in accordance with the contract". Hammerson has therefore terminated the contract and appears to be intending to retain Fordgate's deposit and seek redress. Fordgate has responded to Hammerson's statement saying it was "factually incorrect and libellous... No subsidiary of Fordgate Limited asn contracted to acquire the properties mentioned". - (26-11-2003)

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Skanska wins Palestra contract

Blackfriars Investments and Royal London Asset Management have signed a £67.5m construction contract with Skanska UK to build the Palestra office scheme on Blackfriars Road, London SE1. The project has had several previous start dates but the cleared site could now be on-site this year, or early 2004. The revised completion date is now mid-2006. - (30-09-2003)

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US rivals may team up for Canary bid

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the rival US investment banks, are said to be making a joint attempt to take control of the Canary Wharf development. The Whitehall Fund, part of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Real Estate fund are bidding against Brascan, the Canadian property group. Last week canary Wharf received sealed offers for the company. Property analysts are expecting offers of between 260p to 300p a share, putting a value on the company of around £1.5 billion. - (31-08-2003)

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Skanska to build Moor House

Skanska has been appointed as the main contractor for the Moor House scheme, which is being funded as a limited partnership with Henderson Investors and Hammerson. The 44,658 sq m (480,710 sq ft) gross external scheme, is conceived as a curved vertical design of 19-storeys. The building will comprise about 26,400 sq m (284,000 sq ft) net of offices and 1,810 sq m (19,500 sq ft) of retail space. Completion is planned for early 2003. - (03-04-2002)

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Juxon House designs unveiled

Standard Life Investments has unveiled the final designs for the redeveloped Juxon House, part of the Paternoster Square scheme in London EC4. The seven-storey building has been designed by Sidell Gibson Partnership and will provide about 11,891 sq m (128,000 sq ft) of office space with 1,858 sq m (20,000 sq ft) of retail space on the ground floor. The overall masterplan for the Paternoster Square area is by Whitfield Partners. The building, which has a curved classical façade in contrast to the previous 1960's 'box' design, will be completed in summer 2003. - (13-01-2002)

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Benchmark in bouyant mood

Benchmark Group, the property company specialising in the West End office market, is in a positive mood about the prospects for West End offices in 2002 and 2003, and considers that there is a good balance between supply and demand. The firm recently paid £55m to gain management control of 90 Long Acre, London WC2, a 17,837 sq m (192,000 sq ft) building, and is currently refurbishing the fourth floor of 2,043 sq m (22,000 sq ft). Benchmark has said that it intends to bring more space on-stream during the year. - (06-01-2002)

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Architect Seifert dies

Richard Seifert, the architect who designed Centre Point and the NatWest Tower, now known as Tower 42, has died aged 90. Centre Point, constructed on a small plot, is still believed to be the world's tallest prefabricated building. A controversial development in design terms Centre Point also came to be regarded as the worse example of development greed as the building remained empty for years while rental values increased. The NatWest building in its plan shape is remarkably similar to the National Westminster logo, although any deliberate intention in 'mirroring' the design was always denied. After the second world war Siefert became one of the UK's most prolific architects and the two buildings formed just a small part of his extensive portfolio. - (27-10-2001)

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Skanska wins 1 London Wall

Skanska is rumoured to have won the main construction contract on Greycoats' 1 London Wall office development in EC2. The scheme, designed by Foster & Partners, will provide about 28,980 sq m (311, 940 sq ft) of office space. Demolition of the existing building is underway and main construction is expected to start in March 2002. - (15-10-2001)

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Bovis wins Plantation Place contract

Bovis Lend Lease is said to have won the construction contract for British Land's Plantation Place scheme at 31-35 Fenchurch Street, London EC3. In total the scheme, designed by Arup Associates, is about 60,386 sq m (650,000 sq ft) and around 34,875 sq m (375,400 sq ft) of the development has recently been pre-let to Accenture. - (15-10-2001)

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NAO reviews Treasury scheme

A review of the private finance initiative (PFI) approach on the Treasury and Ministry of Defence buildings in Whitehall, London SW1 has been launched by the National Audit Office, parliament's spending watchdog. The NAO has said that I will produce separate reports on the Treasury and MoD contracts, which are worth about £500m and £1.6bn respectively. The Treasury's Grade II listed building is being refurbished by the Exchequer Partnership, a consortium involving Chesterton, Stanhope and Bovis Lend Lease. The MoD's Grade I listed main building in Whitehall is being refurbished by Modus Services, a consortium comprising Amey, McQuarie Infrastructure, John Laing and Innisfree. Internal demolition work on the MoD's building will start in September. - (25-08-2001)

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Quangos go "head to head"

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) has announced that it is to appear at the public inquiry into the proposed Heron Tower at 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2. CABE will appear in support of the scheme when the inquiry starts at the end of October. CABE's views are contrary to those of English Heritage, which is objecting to the scheme. CABE's chief executive Jon Rouse has been quoted as saying that it is willing to go "head to head" with English Heritage over a scheme it believes is suitable. "It's a bit like David against Goliath, but we have to stand up and be counted," he is reported as saying. - (17-08-2001)

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Mayor agrees Lehman Brothers scheme

The mayor of London decided not to direct London Borough of Hackney to refuse the Northgate project, designed by Sidell Gibson for Lehman Brothers. In the decision letter the mayor has said that the 17-storey office and retail development "would contribute to London's global city role". However the mayor also said that he will ensure that the scheme, and the adjoining scheme planned by Railtrack, to not compromise each other when he considers the Railtrack proposals. The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) is thought to be concerned that Hackney failed to consult it on the proposals, which CABE says are "incompatible" with the Railtrack proposals and should be refused. - (02-06-2001)

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Skyscraper site being assembled

The Corporation of London has been linked with plans to develop a 2ha (5-acre) site on the fringe of the City. The site is bounded by Shoreditch High Street, Norton Folgate, Folgate Street and Commercial Street in London E1. Ownership is thought to be mainly in the control of Railtrack as well as the interests of the Corporation of London. An announcement on the scheme is due in the next two months. There have been persistent market rumours of a 50-storey skyscraper, codenamed 'Cosmos', being planned for a site near Broadgate and Foster & Partners is said to be the architect for the project. - (30-04-2001)

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Mayor directs first office refusal

The saga of One Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 continues. Lambeth Council has now been directed by the Mayor of London to refuse the 28,000 sq m (301,392 sq ft) Frogmore Estates scheme. The decision seems to be based on design grounds and the scheme "being contrary to good strategic planning". The refusal of the Gensler designed scheme comes after Lambeth granted planning permission, subject to a section 106 agreement and the views of the Mayor, following a redesign. - (25-02-2001)

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London & Regional buys EC4 site

London & Regional Properties has taken a controlling stake in a 0.9ha (2.2 acre) site on Victoria Embankment, London EC4, which includes the 37,160 sq m (400,000 sq ft) Morgan Place, 60 on Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y OJP, occupied by JP Morgan, the US investment bank, on a lease expiring in 2016, and the former City of London School for Boys. The site was sold by Sumitomo Life for about £135m. The deal has led to speculation that JP Morgan, which is about to merge with Chase Bank, will now seek to combine operations in one site in London. Chase, formerly Chase Manhattan, also recently acquired Flemings the UK investment bank, based at London Wall EC2, where leases expire in 2004 and 2006. The merger between Chase and JP Morgan will see around 2,000 staff laid off by the end of the year in London and New York and more in 2001. - (01-12-2000)

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Canary Wharf assembles land bank

Canary Wharf Group has announced that it exchanged contracts with Wetherby Limited to purchase the 2.8ha (6.7 acre) area of land, known as 'Shed 35', immediately to the north of the Canary Wharf complex in London E14, for about £53m. Completion of the agreement is due in November 2000. Shed 35 has an existing planning permission for a 1.9 million sq ft mixed use commercial development of offices and hotel. This site combined with the Riverside site, recently taken into full ownership and control of Canary Wharf, provides the potential for 3 million sq ft of office space to cope with future demand. - (09-11-2000)

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Greycoat to raise funds for offices

Greycoat Estates is said to be about to sell its stake in Tower 42, the former NatWest Tower, in order to invest in central London office schemes. Greycoat's 32 per cent holding in Tower 42 could raise around £36m. Greycoat is expected to shortly start on the demolition of Moor House, 119 London Wall, London EC2, which is to be redeveloped as a 19-storey speculative schme of 44,658 sq m (480,710 sq ft). The construction contracts for Moor House are currently out to tender. - (05-11-2000)

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McGraw Hill to take DS4 at Canary Wharf

McGraw-Hill, the US-based information services provider, has signed a letter of agreement with Canary Wharf Group to take the majority of the 46,450 sq m (500,000 sq ft) DS4 building at Canary Wharf to accommodate the company's rapidly growing financial services and business-information operations. The new building for The McGraw-Hill Companies is designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill and construction wok will start once formal contracts are signed and will be ready for occupancy in 2003. The McGraw-Hill Companies plan to occupy the majority of the new building with options for expansion over the balance of the space. The new building will have direct access to the new retail building immediately to the north, to the underground retail mall, and to the Jubilee line link - (06-10-2000)

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