Morgan Stanley in Docklands growth

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, the US investment bank, is planning a massive expansion of its London operations at Canary Wharf.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, the US investment bank, is planning a massive expansion of its London operations at Canary Wharf.

However, in a blow to the Docklands development, it also emerged yesterday that Enron, the giant US power group, will not lease the 1.4m sq ft that it had planned to occupy in two new towers at Canary Wharf. It would have been the one of the biggest pre-let deals in the development's history.

Morgan Stanley already occupies, or has under construction, 1m sq feet in three buildings at Canary Wharf. It will take up 500,000 sq ft more, at a new building, which will be ready in 2003. The US banking goliath has doubled its employees at Canary Wharf to 4,000 over the last five years. Yesterday's move is aimed at accommodating future expected growth at the bank.

Morgan Stanley moved to Canary Wharf in 1991, making it one of the first occupiers at the Thatcher-inspired development. When it moves into its new building, it will have the second-biggest presence at Canary Wharf, after rival Citigroup, which has 1.6m sq ft under construction.

It is believed the Enron deal fell apart when Canary Wharf learnt that the US company planned to sub-let a large part of the space it sought. Enron never needed the whole 1.4m sq ft it was negotiating and currently occupies just 200,000 sq ft in London's West End. Canary Wharf was understood to be concerned that Enron would have, in effect, set itself up as a rival landlord at the site.

George Iacobescu, chief executive of Canary Wharf, said: "The market would not benefit from the lack of certainty regarding Enron's excess space."

Comments