Barnett Waddingham commits to City Square House
The pensions and insurance consultancy has signed terms for 14,000 sq ft on a 15-year lease at MRP’s Leeds office building, due for completion in early 2024.
Relocating from Pinnacle on Albion Street, the firm will pay £37 per sq ft. Knight Frank brokered the deal, one of the largest pre-completion transactions in the city this year.
City Square House is a 140,000 sq ft speculative development, taking up the only remaining undeveloped plot fronting City Square. Just 22,000 sq ft remains available.
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Barnett Waddingham’s relocation comes amid a burst of activity in the Leeds office market, with finance group Reward taking 4,000 sq ft at 12 King Street, and 8,500 sq ft being let to an existing occupier at Credit Suisse’s 26 Wellington Road.
The City Square House workspace will comprise grade A office accommodation over 12-storeys including low carbon credentials, terraces on the fourth, fifth and sixth levels and extensive cycling, electric vehicle and e-bike charging point facilities, MRP said.
MRP’s construction arm McAleer & Rushe is delivering the building as lead contractor.
Barnett Waddingham will be joining law firm DLA and Markel, an SME-focused tax and legal advisor in the building. Together, these two companies have taken a combined total of 103,000 sq ft, DLA accounting for 83,000 sq ft.
Angus Monteith, development director at MRP said: “We are delighted to welcome a company with such an excellent reputation as Barnett Waddingham to City Square House. This latest signing means the development is now 85% pre-let with a final 22,000 sq ft available.
“Securing a 15-year pre-let deal is a very significant and positive statement of intent in the long-term future prosperity of office space in Leeds and, indeed, in urban centres throughout the UK. As we near completion of construction in early 2024, we expect this strong demand for the best workspace will continue.”
Knight Frank partner Eamon Fox advised the landlord. He said: “The Barnett Waddingham deal completes a magnificent hat-trick of high calibre companies moving into City Square House.
“City Square House is the iconic new office development that the Leeds market has been waiting for. It is in a prime position, just off City Square and next to Leeds Station, and the remaining available space of 22,000 sq ft will help to address the pressing need for quality Grade A office space in the city centre.”
Fox continued: “This is a significant deal for the city of Leeds, a vote of confidence in the city and its economy. Amidst this challenging economic climate, this is just the boost the whole region needed and a genuine cause to be optimistic about the commercial property sector in Yorkshire.
“The regeneration of the city centre of Leeds is now paying dividends for the city’s economy and reputation and City Square House, so brilliantly developed speculatively by MRP, is a shining example of what can be achieved with vision and courage.”