The 8 Largest Leasing Deals In London This Year
London’s office leasing market continues to rumble forward, propelled by low supply and decent demand in spite of political headwinds.
Around 5.7M SF of office was leased in the first half of the year, according to Cushman & Wakefield. That is 11% higher than the same period last year, and 5% above the five-year average for the first half of the year.
“Prelets are a key driver of leasing activity at the upper end of the scale, accounting for three out of the top eight transactions,” Cushman reports. “A low supply environment characterises the main CBD office markets, particularly for Grade A space, and this is resulting in occupiers taking longer term strategic decisions.
“Speculative development remains subdued and prelets are likely to play a key part in future leasing volumes and to unlock a number of schemes.”
Here are the eight largest deals so far this year, according to Cushman.
Royal Mint Court
In one of the most dramatic London deals in recent memory, the Chinese government bought the walled office complex Royal Mint Court from Delancey and LRC for its own occupation. The 589K SF site will feature a new embassy and cultural quarter.
2 Televison Centre
Just after the end of H1 advertising giant Publicis completed its deal to lease 212K SF at 2 Television Centre in White City. The development is owned by Mistui Fudosan, Aimco and Stanhope. It is one of West London’s largest ever office leasing deals.
100 Liverpool St.
Proving that financial services firms remain an important City of London occupier, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. pre-leased 161K SF of space at 100 Liverpool St. It is one of the buildings in the Broadgate campus previously occupied by UBS which is being redeveloped by British Land and GIC.
Another pre-let deal saw WeWork take 132K SF at the redeveloped Aviation House in Holborn, owned by Malaysian fund PNB. WeWork has expanded rapidly in London and when it occupies this and other buildings in its pipeline it will be London’s largest private-sector occupier. Not far away WeWork is leasing the entirety of the 140K SF it took at 125 Shaftesbury Ave. to Facebook.
Building R7 at King’s Cross Central
Ahead of the construction of its new 1M SF London HQ nearby, Google leased 127K SF at building R7 on the King’s Cross Central estate, developed by Argent and majority owned by AustralianSuper. It will likely remain in occupation even once the new HQ is open.
The merger of law firms Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton Paisner to create BCLP saw the need for a new HQ, with Governor’s House in the City of London chosen for the 126K SF requirement.
70 St. Mary Axe
1 Canada Square
Alongside WeWork, another coworking firm that is expanding is Blackstone-owned The Office Group, although the pace of its expansion is slower than that of its rapacious peer. In its first foray into Canary Wharf, it has leased 83K SF at the famous 1 Canada Square tower.