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British Land pushes the button on London office development after securing huge letting deal

British Land is set to push the button on a new London office building after securing the largest letting in the capital’s West End in more than twenty years.
The property company will redevelop a building in its Regent Place campus, having signed a deal with media brand Dentsu Aegis to take 310,000 sq ft of the office space when it is finished, doubling its presence on the estate.
British Land had already secured planning permission to build the eight-storey office, but was waiting until it could guarantee the space would be let before beginning construction. Work is now expected to begin in March.
The redevelopment of One Triton Square marks the next phase of British Land’s work at Regent’s Place – a 13-acre campus that is home to the UK offices of Facebook, Santander and Debenhams among others. British Land said in July that it would concentrate on building out three core campuses in the capital because investing in one-off buildings had become too expensive.
Chris Grigg, British Land’s chief executive, said the letting proved that “demand for space is healthy”, despite concerns that wider uncertainty in the UK market was causing firms to delay making decisions about leasing new offices.
“People are making long term decisions and so they are looking way beyond Brexit to where they want to have a major part of their business, and London still has a lot of attraction to them,” he said.
British Land pushes the button on London office development after securing huge letting deal

British Land chief executive Chris Grigg

Credit:
Chris Ratcliffe
The news came as British Land reported that profits had remained flat in the last six months at ?198m, despite ?1.5bn of property sales in the period.
The net asset value of its properties per share, the preferred measure of performance for most property companies, was up 2.6pc to 939p in the six months to September 30. As a result of the steady trading, the developer increased its half-year dividend by 3pc to 15.04p per share.
Its committed development programme has doubled to 1.5m sq ft, although Mr Grigg said speculative development, where buildings are constructed before they have a tenant in place, made up just 4pc of its pipeline.
James Carswell, an analyst at Peel Hunt, said: “Further progress has been made on de-risking not only the committed development programme, but also future projects providing an opportunity for organic growth.”
Shares in the firm were up by 2.6pc to 612p on Thursday.
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