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£1.6B Pair Of Deals Gives Boost To London Office Market

The Scalpel

Two deals with a total value of more than £1.6B have provided a welcome note of optimism for the London office market. The fact that one of them involves a major real estate investment by a large corporate occupier only heightens the positivity. 

Google is in talks to buy a West End office building in which it is a large occupier for around £800M, React News reported. The tech giant is in talks to buy the 433K SF Central Saint Giles scheme from Legal & General and Mitsubishi Estate Co.

Google occupies 156K SF at the scheme, and earlier this year came close to a decision to exit the building when its lease expires in 2021. Instead, it has extended the lease by 10 years, and React said it is buying the building with a view to taking more space there as the leases of other tenants expire. 

Google is spending £1B building a 1M SF UK HQ at Argent’s King’s Cross Central scheme, which it committed to developing earlier this year. The deal will give comfort to the office world that even though big tech companies will let staff work from home more frequently, they will still be big consumers of office space.

In the City of London, an insurance company that built an office tower is now looking to cash in. U.S. firm WR Berkley has put the 387K SF Scalpel office tower up for sale for £820M, Property Week reported. Eastdil Secured and Cushman & Wakefield have been appointed to find a buyer. 

The company bought a nondescript office building on the site in 2011, and in 2013 began to develop the 35-storey tower, where it is the largest occupier.