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Is Tech The Future Of Canary Wharf?

HSBC's migration to Birmingham perhaps represents an important clue for the future of Canary Wharf and City banking offices, says industry vet Anthony Lorenz.


Tech companies are choosing offices in the “inner circle of the dart board” such as Old Street roundabout, Shoreditch, Aldgate, Bermondsey and Southbank, areas that also serve the City banking community. In view of the shortage of supply, those companies that are saying no to co-working and want traditional leases are being pushed outward, to places like Hackney North, south of Waterloo and the Isle of Dogs in the east.

Canary Wharf will inevitably be included in that list. With a thriving prop tech sector, the foundation is already there for major tech communities to grow. Cheaper offices, less expensive support staff and an overall lower cost of business could lure companies away, creating an organic digital hub. Companies could take advantage of low conversion costs of the accommodation—strip out the suspended ceilings, show the air conditioning ducts, jazz up the common areas and liven up the community space and soon you’d have that cool and funky Shoreditch/Clerkenwell vibe.