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Shard Said to Get Duff & Phelps as Tower’s First Tenant

The developer of the Shard won Duff & Phelps Corp. as its first office tenant about 10 months after the London skyscraper opened, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The financial advisory and investment banking firm agreed to lease about 20,000 square feet (1,860 square meters) of space from Sellar Property Group Ltd., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, has more than 589,000 square feet of office space.

Duff & Phelps, based in New York, and Sellar Property couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Irvine Sellar is chairman of the U.K. company.

Sellar bought out Transport for London’s contract to rent about a third of the skyscraper in 2010, hoping for higher rents. It hadn’t signed any tenants since, hampered by a decline in demand for prime office space in London. The market has picked up this year, according to broker CBRE Group Inc.

The Qatar Central Bank owns about 95 percent of the Shard, which was completed in 2012.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. and Knight Frank LLP advise Sellar on getting tenants for the offices up to the 28th floor. A five-star Shangri-La Hotel occupies floors 34 to 52 with luxury homes up to level 65.

Estates Gazette reported the news earlier today.

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