Accenture replants in British Land site

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Accenture yesterday signed up to occupy one of the biggest new developments in the City, in a sign that corporate confidence has not been completely sapped.

The management consultancy firm, formerly called Andersen Consulting, will occupy most of Plantation Place, a proposed British Land development in the Fenchurch Street area that has been looking for an occupier for several years. Construction of a 507,000 square foot building, of which Accenture will rent 375,000 sq ft initially, will now begin, with the building due for completion in the first half of 2004.

Analysts pointed out that the rent agreed by Accenture, at £54 a sq ft, was around the level of City deals that preceeded last month's terrorist attacks in the United States.

John Ritblat, chairman of British Land, said: "Plantation Place is a major part of our development programme in London and the letting is a healthy indicator for the current City of London office market."

Accenture also has a right of first refusal over a further phase of Plantation Place, which will provide an extra 150,000 sq ft of accommodation in another building. The management consultancy is currently spread around several offices in London.