Derwent to go ahead with Old Street scheme without tenant

Kasmira Jefford
Follow Kasmira
DERWENT LONDON, said yesterday it will kick start work on an office scheme near Old Street’s “Silicon roundabout”, after seeing growing appetite for space from fast-growing technology firms.

The London developer plans to start building its 289,000 square foot “White Collar Factory” site next year on a speculative basis.

Since the crisis developers have been reluctant to build without signing a pre-let agreement first.

But chief executive John Burns told City A.M that Derwent was encouraged by growing demand for space along London’s “tech belt” from Whitechapel to Kings Cross.

“You have got a lot of enquiries in that area and we are now finding that a lot of big space occupiers are seriously looking for space.”

His comments came as Derwent posted an 11 per cent jump in net asset value per share to 1,886p in 2012. Like-for-like rental income rose 8.2 per cent.

Derwent said its vacancy rate was “low” at 1.6 per cent thanks to demand from creative industries.