09 June 2008 – Media Release
European Land has announced today that Marks & Spencer Plc has taken a 30 year lease on 170,000 sq. ft. of Grade A office space, at a quoting rent of £53.50, in the landmark Carmine building at the Merchant Square scheme in Paddington. The offices, which have been let during the course of construction, will be completed in March 2010 and Marks & Spencer expect to take occupation then.
Merchant Square is being developed by European Land & Property Limited. The Marks & Spencer letting is the first commercial deal to be announced at the development and will serve as a strong message of confidence to the property sector.
An M&S spokesperson said:” This is a long-term rental agreement that will re-affirm our commitment to Paddington, allowing us to consolidate our Head Office operations here into two buildings. It will also support the long-term future growth of the business and avoid us having to acquire space in a third building at some point in the future. We hope to move into the building in 2011 and at the same time we will move out of our rented space at the Point.”
Richard Banks, Senior Development Director, European Land & Property Limited, said “The news of this major letting is significant, not only in relation to Merchant Square, but for the London property market as a whole. When we began construction in third quarter of 2007, we did so against a backdrop of strong tenant demand for space at Merchant Square. In spite of harsher trading conditions in the market now, we have been delighted with the weight of both commercial and residential demand that has been shown in this development and expect to be able to follow this significant announcement with news of other deals in the near future.”
Howard Wright, Managing Director, European Land & Property Limited, added “Merchant Square is one of the final phases of the redevelopment of the Paddington basin, which is, without a doubt, the largest regeneration project the West End has seen in recent years. The success of this scheme is greatly influenced by its mixed-use character and enviable location, adjacent to an important transport hub and just minutes away from Marble Arch. Today’s announcements just serve to cement Merchant Square’s position as one of the leading developments in London, in spite of market conditions.”
John Forrester, Director, DTZ added “This very large transaction for the West End illustrates the growing importance of outstanding design and building efficiency on tenant choice. The confidence shown by M & S in the scheme at a time of uncertainty in the economy is a tremendous boost to the market.”
Alongside the 170,000 sq. ft. of office space, Marks & Spencer has taken up three retail spaces in the lobby and a restaurant space. This move will serve to strengthen their position in Paddington for the next few decades and will be seen as a major contribution to the successful regeneration of this area.
Merchant Square, when complete in 2012, will create six new buildings, including a mix of office, residential and retail uses and total approximately 1.8 million sq ft. The scheme incorporates 554 residential units, with 30 percent as affordable housing. The buildings are set within a high quality public realm with a major new canal side square as its focal point.
Notes to editors:
European Land & Property Limited (ELPL) is the developer of the Merchant Square residential sites and is jointly owned by European Land Holdings Ltd and Aldersgate which are respectively controlled by the Jarvis and Reuben families. ELPL acts as development manager to Merchant Square Partnership (Building No 1) LP, the developer of Carmine.