British Land to Build UBS HQ

Construction of one of the biggest buildings in London is set to commence now that an accord has been finalised between property developer British Land and Swiss banking group UBS. British Land has announced that they have reached an unconditional agreement with UBS to develop a 700,000 square foot building on the Broadgate estate, which it co-owns with Blackstone in the main financial district of the capital.

The office space, which is to be the bank’s main base within the United Kingdom, is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of the year 2014, British Land revealed on Monday. UBS is expected to rent it for around eight years, with the initial rent to be £54.50 per square foot, not including increases to be in line with inflation.

A deal for UBS to continue to stay on the office campus was agreed to three years ago back in 2010, but the announcement has nonetheless been described as “a significant milestone,” British Land’s head of offices Tim Robert says.

The existing 1980s office scheme had been recommended for listing by conservation body English Heritage, but that was rejected last June, meaning that the scheme could go ahead. UBS had warned that if the office complex had been listed, it would have forced the bank to “fundamentally reconsider our occupation strategy in London” in light of a lack of other suitable alternative venues.

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