LONDON, 2015-10-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry were guests of honour today as The Leadenhall Building, the tallest building in The City of London, officially opened for business.
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry admired the views from the building’s 42nd floor, 200 metres above street level, and met senior executives from joint developers British Land and Oxford Properties and members of the construction team, including four apprentices that worked on the project.
They were also presented with a bespoke Lego model of the building, created in tribute to the pioneering techniques employed in its construction whereby 80% of the building, including the 18,000 tonne steel structure, was pre-fabricated before being assembled on site.
The Leadenhall Building, also known as ‘The Cheesegrater’ on account of its distinctive sloping shape which is designed to protect views of St Paul’s Cathedral, is now close to fully occupied. Aon, the world’s largest insurance broker, has relocated its global headquarters from Chicago and recently welcomed 2,000 staff to the building. The company is joined by specialty insurer Amlin and twelve other companies from a range of industry sectors including the building’s architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
The building comprises 610,000 sq ft (56,670 sq m) of office and retail space over 45 floors and is 90 per cent let, attracting the highest rents ever paid in The City of London. It was recently voted The City of London Building of the Year.
Chris Grigg, Chief Executive at British Land said: “This is a significant milestone for us and our partners Oxford Properties and I would like to thank The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry for helping us mark it.
“The decision to develop The Leadenhall Building in 2010 was a bold one; the full impact of the global financial crisis was still unravelling, and The City of London’s position as the world’s leading financial centre was under threat. However, we had confidence that The City would rebound, and resolved to deliver an exceptional building that would attract leading companies from all over the world. I am very proud to say we have achieved that.”
Paul Brundage, Executive Vice President and Senior Managing Director, Oxford Properties Europe, said: “We are honoured to be joined today by The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry to mark the final milestone in this incredible project.
“In 2010 Oxford Properties was seeking a development opportunity that would not only demonstrate our commitment to London, but underline our aspiration to become a leading global investor in real estate. The Leadenhall Building was the perfect answer. This is not only a London landmark, it is a building that resonates on the world stage and we are tremendously grateful to all those who have helped deliver it.”
For additional information on The Leadenhall Building please visit www.theleadenhallbuilding.com
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About British Land
We are one of Europe’s largest publicly listed real estate companies. We own, manage, develop and finance a portfolio of high quality commercial property, focused on retail locations around the UK and London offices. We have total assets in the UK, owned or managed of £18.9 billion (of which British Land share is £13.6 billion), as valued at 31 March 2015. Our properties are home to over 1,200 different organisations ranging from international brands to local start-ups. Our objective is to deliver long-term and sustainable total returns to our shareholders and we do this by focusing on Places People Prefer. People have a choice where they work, shop and live and we aim to create outstanding places which make a positive difference to people’s everyday lives. Our customer orientation enables us to develop a deep understanding of the people who use our places. We employ a lean team of experts, who have the skills to translate this understanding into creating the right places, and we have an efficient capital structure which is able to effectively finance these places.
UK Retail assets account for 55% of our portfolio. As the UK’s largest listed owner and manager of retail space, our portfolio is well matched to the different ways people shop today. We are focused on being the destination of choice for retailers and their customers by being the best provider of spaces and services. Comprising around 22 million sq ft of retail space across shopping parks, superstores, shopping centres, department stores and leisure assets, the retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats.
Our Office and Residential portfolio, which accounts for 45% of our portfolio is focused on London. We have an attractive mix of high quality buildings in well managed environments and a pipeline of development projects which will add significantly to our portfolio. Increasingly, our Offices are in mixed-use environments which include retail and residential elements. Our 6.7 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Regent’s Place and Paddington Central in the West End and Broadgate, the premier city office campus (50% share).
Our size and substance demands a responsible approach to business. We believe leadership on issues such as sustainability helps drive our performance and is core to the delivery of our overall objective of driving shareholder value and creating Places People Prefer.
Further details can be found on the British Land website at www.britishland.com
About Oxford Properties Group
Oxford Properties Group is a global platform for real estate investment, development and management, with over 2,000 employees and C$34 billion of real assets that it manages for itself and on behalf of its co-owners and investment partners. Established in 1960, Oxford was acquired in 2001 by OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds with over C$72 billion in assets. Oxford has regional offices in Toronto, London and New York, each with investment, development and management professionals who have deep real estate expertise and local market insight. Oxford now has approximately C$7 billion of AUM in Europe, with a focus on core office and high street retail assets in Central London and Paris.
For more information about Oxford visit: www.oxfordproperties.com.