STRATFORD moved closer yesterday to becoming London’s next business district after securing the Financial Conduct Authority as its first tenant.
The City watchdog confirmed plans to move its 3,000 staff from its current offices in Canary Wharf to a new £2bn development next to the Olympic Park known as the International Quarter.
The deal is a major coup for the developers of the 22 acre site – Australian giant Lend Lease and the taxpayer-owned London and Continental Railways (LCR) – who aim to turn the area into a new office district.
The FCA also considered staying put at 25 North Colonnade moving to another building in Canary Wharf or taking up space at Brookfield’s Principal Place in the Square Mile.
However, with rents of between £30 and £35 per sq ft compared with £45 per sq ft in Canary Wharf and over £55 in the City, Stratford was the most competitive on price.
The FCA, which is due to move in 2018, said Stratford offered “good value for money for our fee-payers”. Once finished the International Quarter will include 4m square feet of offices and 250 homes as well as a hotel, shops and restaurants. Property agents close to the deal said the FCA’s move was likely to prompt other businesses to make the jump to Stratford.