Broadgate hails 'turning point': Developer announces the City's biggest letting this year

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BROADGATE PROPERTIES has signed what it believes to be the largest single letting in the City of London this year, writes Russell Hotten.

Wilde Sapte, the solicitors, are taking the whole 158,000 square feet of One Fleet Place, a nine-storey building in the heart of Broadgate's 560,000 sq ft Ludgate development overlooking the Old Bailey.

Eugene Doyle, Broadgate's leasing director, claimed it marked 'a serious turning point in the City's property market'. Wilde Sapte is taking on a 25-year lease with upwards-only rent reviews every five years. There will be a rent-free period, but Mr Doyle would not say for how long it would be. Neither would he discuss the deal's finances.

Last week Broadgate sold the 999-year lease of One Exchange Square, home of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to the German investor DGI for pounds 170m cash, which is being used to repay the bank mortgage of pounds 135m and increase working capital.

One Fleet Place is one of four buildings in Broadgate's Ludgate development. It said most of the space was now let or under offer.

Mr Doyle said: 'We are seeing a change in the market, with things like shorter rent-free periods. It confirms the rapidly approaching and predicted shortage of top-quality new office space in the City.'

(Photograph omitted)