The 10 Biggest Offices Opening In London In 2020
The Central London office leasing market is a phenomenon. Last year might have been terrible for investment, but London office leasing continued to defy any potential Brexit malaise: 12.5M SF was taken by London occupiers, which is 14% down on 2018, but above the 10-year average of 11.8M SF, according to Deloitte Real Estate.
Demand has remained robust, and even as the London market recovered after the financial crisis in the years up to 2016, very few developers built new schemes, meaning supply is low. For those schemes completing now, the market is fertile.
Below are the 10 largest offices completing in London in 2020, according to Deloitte. They include one of the biggest and most daring new offices built in London in a decade, as well as three schemes that highlight how London is no longer a binary market split between the City and West End. More than 40% of the space at these schemes was pre-let as of the end of Q3, meaning some are already let, while some developers still have work to do.
22 Bishopsgate — First Quarter
AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets took the decision to speculatively develop the 1.3M SF 22 Bishopsgate scheme just weeks after the Brexit vote, when there was zero clarity on how London would fare as the UK left the EU. That decision looks savvy now. The building is officially 45% pre-let, with 580K SF taken by occupiers including Hiscox and Beazley. Apple is in talks to take a further 100K SF, according to The Times.
Battersea Power Station — Fourth Quarter
That 100K SF lease for Apple at 22 Bishopsgate would be space taken ahead of a much larger letting at Battersea Power Station, where it is taking 500K SF at the redevelopment of the former power station for a new UK HQ. With serviced office operator No.18 taking a further 20K SF, the 520K SF office element of the scheme is fully let, justifying its Malaysian developers' belief that Battersea could draw major office occupiers.
100 Liverpool St. — First Quarter
British Land and GIC’s speculative refurbishment of the 435K SF 100 Liverpool St. highlights how, for all the talk of the tech sector invading the City of London, financial services companies are still taking space. The owners have leased 270K SF to Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui, broker Peel Hunt and law firm Milbank, and Bank of Montreal is in talks to take a further 60K SF.
One Braham — First Quarter
For a long time, Aldgate Developments’ One Braham development on the eastern fringe of the City was the largest unlet speculative office development under construction in London. But its decision to build without a tenant in place paid off when BT signed to take all of the 340K SF building in the middle of last year, expanding its footprint and selling its traditional home next to St Paul’s Cathedral in the process.
60 London Wall — Second Quarter
The title previously held by One Braham now goes to 60 London Wall, a 325K SF office in the City being developed by a joint venture between LaSalle Investment Management and U.S. pension fund CalSTRS. Tech giant Cisco entered talks to take 100K SF at the scheme in October last year, but the exclusivity period for the space expired in December without a deal being signed, according to React News, meaning the building is yet to find an occupier.
80 Charlotte St. — First Quarter
Derwent London kept building after the Brexit vote, and was rewarded by good rents and high occupancy at schemes like 80 Charlotte St. In Derwent’s most recent financial results, the company said the Fitzrovia scheme was 92% let, with tenants including Boston Consulting and Arup.
1 Triton Square — Fourth Quarter
In 2017 British Land secured one of the largest West End pre-lets ever when media and brand agency Dentsu Aegis signed to take the entirety of the 312K SF 1 Triton Square building at its Regent’s Place campus near Euston station.
Shell Centre — First Quarter
When Shell built its HQ building near Waterloo in the early part of the 20th century, the oil company had to include a swimming pool, a rifle range, squash courts and a cinema to persuade people to come work in the area. Now Waterloo is one of London’s largest office development hubs, with the newly refurbished 300K SF Shell Centre, one of Shell’s two major office buildings at the wider Southbank Place scheme, reopening this year.
Building S9, The International Quarter — First Quarter
Lendlease and LCR continue to establish Stratford as one of London’s new alternative office destinations, with the offices of The International Quarter on the former Olympic Park continuing to fill up. Building S9 will be completed in the first quarter with 220K SF of the 280K SF leased to tenants Cancer Research and the British Council. There is planning consent for a further 350K SF building at the £2.4B scheme.
80 Fenchurch St. — Second Quarter
80 Fenchurch St. is another scheme with a bit of work to do ahead of completion: The 242K SF building is yet to find a tenant. It was on the shortlist for BT’s new HQ before losing out to One Braham. The building is owned by private equity firm Partners Group and developer YardNine, with a £100M development loan provided in 2018 by Allianz and Nuveen.