Timing is key on this deal

Marion Dakers
THE timing of British Land’s latest scheme couldn’t be better, with rents in the West End on course to rise dramatically before construction ends in 2013.

The location isn’t ideal, though – Marble Arch House is across the road from British Land’s head offices on Seymour Street.

While the firm’s top brass will suffer drills and cranes outside their office windows for the next two years, the news this week that average office rents in the West End rose an eye-watering 21 per cent to £85 per square foot last year might help ease the pain.

British Land has started this yearwith a flurry of positive stories both in the City and further afield, from buying Drake Circus shopping centre in Plymouth to selling a Sainsbury store in Macclesfield, as it rejigs its investment strategy in favour of trading-focused buys.

What the firm needs now is a weighty City firm to take space in its Cheesegrater tower, and for the resurgence in rental prices to stay the course.