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Developer places bets on insurance sector

19th September 2013

Developer places bets on insurance sector

London’s skyscrapers may shortly be gaining a new companion. In the vicinity of the City’s financial district, and near to the recently completed tower at 20 Fenchurch Street, also known as the Walkie Talkie, the new building would be approximately the same height as its neighbour, at 600 feet tall. 

The development would include 910,000 square feet of office and retail space, potentially accommodating 7,000 of the City’s workers. The district is now increasingly being occupied by the insurance sector, as the banking sector has shrunk its requirements and often moved to smaller, less central offices. The developer of this new tower is asset management company Henderson Global Investors Ltd. 

The insurance market in the capital is doing well, and is set to continue, a trend which has not gone unnoticed on the part of other developers. Both British Land and Land Securities are involved in skyscraper construction projects at present, hoping to take advantage of – and possibly increase – the percentage of space which is currently occupied by way of lease by the insurance sector, a figure which stands at 20% at present, considerably higher than during the years leading up to 2007, when it averaged 5%. 

It is anticipated that the Henderson project (and who knows what nickname the tower will attract …), which will be situated at 40 Leadenhall Street, will not be completed until at least 2019, although the developer will hope to enter into a number of pre-let agreements much sooner than then. 

With a number of office developments in the pipeline in the UK capital, each developer will be hoping that the economy continues to improve and that there will remain a good demand for office space in London’s financial district at the time that these projects are completed, although six years is a significant amount of time in terms of the economy and property markets, as recent years have shown.

This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants. 

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