Room at the top for Amlin after its Cheesegrater deal

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The Independent Online

The Lloyd's of London insurer Amlin will soon be wowing its clients at the top of the Cheesegrater skyscraper in the City after agreeing a major pre-letting deal with British Land yesterday.

Amlin has agreed heads of terms for 111,000 sq ft in the deal, including the 6,000 sq ft 45th floor, the highest in the 224m high building available for rent.

The floor, complete with panoramic views over the capital, will be used for client entertaining while the underwriter's staff toil below on floors 18 to 24.

The company is likely to have paid a hefty premium for the top floor but declined to comment.

The latest deal means the Richard Rogers-designed tower is now 51 per cent pre-let ahead of completion in 2014, after the insurance broker Aon signed up for a major chunk of the building last year.

Aon paid £56.60 a sq ft for the space, ahead of the City average of around £50-£55. The relative success of the Cheesegrater, as well as the Walkie-Talkie tower nearby, contrasts with funding issues at the Pinnacle tower, which is barely out of the ground, and 100 Bishopsgate, where the developers are yet to commit to the scheme without a pre-let.

Elsewhere in the City office market, the Shard and Heron tower are struggling to attract tenants.

Experts say activity among insurers is one of the few bright spots in the market with thousands of job cuts in the banking sector.

The insurance broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson sealed the biggest deal of the year in the St Botolph building in November.

Mark Lethbridge, who is a partner at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said: "With the recent run of deals at 20 Fenchurch St, this latest news confirms the insurance sector is where the action is."

British Land's shares ticked 2p lower to 559p.