Henderson Plans London Tower Rivaling Walkie Talkie

Henderson Global Investors Ltd., the manager of $108 billion in assets, plans to build an office complex capped by a 34-story tower in the City of London financial district as developers tap the area’s burgeoning insurance market.

The 170-meter (600-foot) high project would be within a cluster of skyscrapers in the City’s insurance district, Henderson said in an e-mailed statement today. The plan includes 910,000 square feet (84,500 square meters) of offices and shops to accommodate 7,000 workers and would cost 391 million pounds ($623 million) to build. The main building would be about the same height as the 20 Fenchurch Street tower nearby nicknamed the Walkie Talkie.

Developers such as British Land Co. and Land Securities Group Plc are building skyscrapers near the Lloyd’s of London insurance market as the industry expands. Insurers accounted for 20 percent of all City office space that companies agreed to lease in the 12 months through March, compared with about a 5 percent average in the two years through 2007, according to data compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Henderson’s project at 40 Leadenhall Street will be completed by 2019 “at the earliest,” Nick Deacon, director of property at Henderson, said by phone. The company plans to secure tenants for 300,000 to 350,000 square feet of space before beginning construction, he said.

Vacating Space

About 2.7 million square feet of office space in the City may be vacated by tenants in 2019, according to data compiled by broker Knight Frank LLP. Occupiers can move out of an additional 4 million square feet of office space in the financial district in 2020, the broker said.

British Land secured tenants for its tower on Leadenhall Street, nicknamed the Cheesegrater, including Aon Plc and Amlin Plc before the building’s completion. Land Securities’ 20 Fenchurch Street tower, which is under construction, reached lease agreements with Markel Corp., Kiln Group and Ascot Underwriting Inc.

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