Insurance firm Markel is first tenant for the Walkie-Talkie

Kasmira Jefford
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INSURANCE FIRM Markel today confirmed it has become the first tenant to sign up to Land Securities’ and Canary Wharf’s iconic City skyscraper, the Walkie-Talkie.

Markel said it will take up 51,000 square feet on two upper floors of the 690,000 sq ft tower, relocating from its current head offices at 49 Leadenhall Street. It will pay around £65 per sq ft for a 20-year term.

The Walkie-Talkie at 20 Fenchurch Street is one of four skyscrapers currently being built in the City, and developers expect it will capture demand from a wave of lease expiries due from 2013.

The deal marks a considerable coup for Land Securities in what has been a lacklustre lettings market, buoyed so far this year by a wave of insurers looking for new City offices.

The 37-storey is skyscraper is due to be completed in 2014 and Markel expects to move later that year. Insurer Kiln group is poised to become the second tenant.