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Derwent London CEO's Tips To Landing Big Tenants

London Office

There is a property adage that office decisions are based on what the CEO wants, from location to floor plan and amenities. 

But Derwent London CEO John Burns said the way to win a London office relocation today is to appeal to the entire business, from top to bottom.

Derwent London just pre-let 123,500 SF to Boston Consulting Group at 80 Charlotte St. W1. BCG will take the fifth to eighth floors on a 15-year lease.

“You have to build space for today. That means being aware of what occupiers want which, today, is far more a decision for the whole company than for a few senior individuals. And to do that you need interesting space,” Burns said. “That in turn means good clear spaces, good heights, we’re even prepared to sacrifice lettable space for high ceilings, and the result has been success.”

Derwent London just wrapped up one major project and is gearing up to start another.

Earlier in September, Derwent London opened the 293K SF White Collar Factory EC1. Overlooking Old Street Roundabout, at the heart of London’s Tech Belt, the project has distinctive features like 3.5-metre-high ceilings, a 150-metre rooftop running track, a communal roof terrace, a new landscaped public space and the ability to accommodate flexible occupation. The tower forms part of a new urban campus with a further 56K SF of offices, studios, incubator space, restaurants and apartments, set around a new landscaped area, Old Street Yard.

This quarter, Derwent London is poised to take possession of the site on the corner of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road, directly above Tottenham Court Road station, that it will rebrand as 1 Soho Place, W1. The 285K SF mixed-use scheme will include 209K SF of offices, 36K SF of retail, a 40K SF theatre and new public realm.  

Burns said he expects to start preliminary works on-site within the next 12 months, with completion for 2020-21.

Burns will speak at Bisnow's Big Office Bash on Wednesday, 27 September, at the Royal Institution, London W1. Other panellists include Helical Chief Executive Gerald Kaye and Argent Senior Project Director Helen Causer.