British Land chief: West End London offices gaining popularity abroad


The boss of one of Europe’s biggest Real Estate Investment Trust’s (REIM) has suggested a shift in London office demand has seen the West End become more popular than the Square Mile.

British Land chief executive Chris Grigg said due to a decreased interest from international firm’s, his company had taken action to reduce the amount of office holding it has in the Square Mile from 65% down to 50% in the last three years.

The Square Mile is another name for the City of London and the area has traditionally seen a number of financial firms using it as their London offices.

Speaking to City A.M., Mr Grigg said: “The international crowd who need to be in London want to be in and around the West End.

“If you’ve got to spend your time flying around world it’s closer to Heathrow than Canary Wharf. There’s also a shorter commute and the prestige of being in the West End.”

As one of Europe’s leading REIMs , British Land has a portfolio of commercial property valued at more than £16.3bn.

Back in March, it sold Ropemaker Place for a reported £472m before later launching a £500m share scheme.

Discussing his firm’s plans on spending the money generated from the share scheme and sale of Ropemaker Place, Mr Grigg added: “We’d be disappointed if we didn’t make £500m of acquisitions over the course of the year.

“We will be investing principally outside the City, in London and the south east.”

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