Goldman Sachs in big City letting deal

GOLDMAN SACHS, the US investment bank, is about to sign the biggest letting deal in the City this year.

The bank is pre-letting a 400,000sq ft building just behind Fleet Street. The move will give Goldman Sachs the biggest Square Mile presence of any overseas investment bank with over 1.5 million sq ft of space.

The bank already rents three buildings on Fleet Street, including the former Telegraph and Express newspaper buildings. Just before its flotation in May, the bank pre-let a building above the Thameslink station.

In the latest deal, it will move into Fleet Buildings - an old BT telephone exchange being redeveloped. BT is likely to likely to receive pounds 15m in rent each year.

The move comes at a time when demand for office space in the City is peaking, thanks mainly to US law firms and banks. Last week, it emerged that Allen & Overy wants to find a 500,000sq ft headquarters building. Other big tenants looking for headquarters include Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Goldman Sachs refused to comment, but a source close to the deal confirmed the move - which represents a significant westward shift in the City's office focus.

Goldman's float in May gave its 57 London partners shareholdings worth an average of pounds 50m each. "It's just amazing how quickly Goldman Sachs is growing in the City," said one City insider. "It means they are gearing up for a huge European push."

The most expensive property deal in the Square Mile so far this year edged closer when it emerged that former Credit Suisse First Boston bankers, known as Strategic Real Estate, are poised to buy Britannic House for pounds 143m.

The sellers of the building in Finsbury Circus near Moorgate are a consortium of US investors.

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS, PAGE 3

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