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Like The Suez Canal Ship, London’s Office Leasing Market Is Starting To Move Again

Boats try to dislodge cargo ship the Ever Given in the Suez Canal.

It is not quite back to normal yet, but very slowly, like the giant ship Ever Given that blocked the Suez Canal, London’s office occupational market is starting to float again. 

Two of the largest leasing deals since the start of the pandemic have been completed or agreed in recent days as occupiers start to commit to long-term space needs in spite of the uncertainty about future working patterns. 

U.S. investment firm T. Rowe Price has agreed to take 130K SF at Warwick Court in Paternoster Square in the City of London, CoStar reported. The company will relocate from nearby Queen Victoria Street in 2023, when a refurbishment of the building is completed. 

Warwick Court is one of three buildings in the immediate area previously occupied by Goldman Sachs, which moved into a new office in 2019, leaving about 1M SF vacant.

The 180K SF building is owned by Mitsubishi Estate, which has drafted in Stanhope as development manager to oversee the $50M refurbishment project. 

Elsewhere in the City, British Land and GIC are in early stage talks for what would be the largest letting in London since the onset of the coronavirus

Law firm Allan & Over is in talks to take around 300K SF at the redevelopment of One Broadgate, Bloomberg reported. The law firm has a lease that expires in Bishops Square, across the road, in 2027. 

One Broadgate was previously the HQ of inter-broker dealer Icap. That building has been knocked down and replaced with a 490K SF office building also including restaurants and retail. 

Central London office leasing was down about 56% last year, according to data from CBRE.