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4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  British Land    BLND   GB0001367019

BRITISH LAND (BLND)
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The British Land Company plc : Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London, hails The Leadenhall Building as 'the latest landmark to grace London's iconic skyline'

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06/18/2013 | 08:50pm CET

Topping-out ceremony marks building's 224 metre height

A ceremony to mark the topping-out of The Leadenhall Building was attended by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, earlier this evening. Owned by the 50:50 joint venture between British Land Company PLC ("British Land") and Oxford Properties ("Oxford"), the building, opposite Lloyd's of London in the heart of the City of London, has been under construction since early 2011. It is due to complete in summer 2014 and will comprise 610,000 sq ft of office space over 47 floors.

The striking architectural design of The Leadenhall Building incorporates 18,000 tonnes of steel and 70,000 sq metres of cladding. In one of the most advanced forms of construction by main contractor, Laing O'Rourke, 85% of the structure (by construction value) has been manufactured off-site.

As well as being the newest addition to London's skyline, The Leadenhall Building will be part of the City's fabric at ground level, creating a half acre, seven storey galleria which will include formal lawns, seating, mature trees, retail units and an actively managed events space, creating a vibrant and welcoming environment open to the public.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "The Leadenhall Building is the latest landmark to grace London's iconic skyline, demonstrating our city's ability to design and construct world-class architecture. This ambitious project has created jobs in London and elsewhere across the UK supporting great British manufacturing all over the country. The building's soaring pinnacle symbolises the confidence in London's status as a global centre of finance and trade."

The Leadenhall Building was designed by Graham Stirk, partner at world-renowned architecture practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The building's distinctive tapered profile has been designed to protect the sight line of St Paul's Cathedral. Unusually for a tall building, The Leadenhall Building has no central core, with an external mega frame providing the lateral stability and the 26 passenger lifts housed in the building's Northern Core, painted bright yellow, at the rear of the building.

A year ahead of its completion the building is 51% pre-let, following commitments with international insurance company Aon, which will relocate its head office to the building from Chicago, and specialist underwriter Amlin.

Chris Grigg, Chief Executive of British Land, said: "When British Land and Oxford Properties started construction of The Leadenhall Building in 2011 some said it was a bold call. It was only three years after the global financial crisis and the economy and property market were still in a fragile state. Yet we were confident enough to start The Leadenhall Building because so many positive factors were in our favour. We have a world class design, an exemplary construction team, a strong collaborative partner in Oxford Properties and excellent occupiers in Aon and Amlin. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been involved in this project to date."

Blake Hutcheson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Properties said: "Being a part of this project has been very exciting for Oxford. Thank you to our great partner British Land, and to the wider team - including the City of London. With $24B of real estate around the globe and currently close to $5B of development initiatives underway we know how Cities can help make or break a project. Throughout this experience we have found that the City has been working with us not against us, at every turn. We appreciate this "can do" business friendly attitude which ensures we will continue to invest here. The Leadenhall Building deserves a world class team - and we have one. This building is a great example of what collaboration and partnership can achieve."

Enquiries:

Investor Relations
Sally Jones, British Land 020 7467 2942
Media
Pip Wood, British Land 020 7467 2838
Giles Barrie, FTI Consulting 020 7269 7284
Oxford Properties
Ceri Edwards, Redwood Consulting 020 7828 5553

Notes to Editors

About British Land
British Land is one of Europe's largest Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) with total assets, owned or managed, of £16.4 billion (British Land share £10.5 billion), as valued at 31 March 2013. Through our property and finance expertise we attract experienced partners to create properties and environments which are home to over 1,000 different organisations and receive over 300 million visits each year. Our property portfolio is focused on prime retail locations and London offices which attract high quality occupiers committed to long leases. Our occupancy rate of 96.8% and average lease length to first break of 10.7 years are among the highest of the major UK REITs.

Retail assets account for 60% of our portfolio, around 80% of which are located at prime out of town sites. Comprising around 29 million sq ft of retail space across 80 retail parks, 91 superstores, 17 shopping centres and 13 department stores, the retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats. Our active asset management delivers space which is attractive and meets the needs of both retailers and consumers.

London offices, located in the City and West End, comprise 35% of the portfolio (which will rise to an estimated 38% on completion of current developments). Our 6 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Broadgate, the premier City office campus (50% share) and Regent's Place in the West End. Since 2010, we have committed £1.2 billion to create London's largest committed office development programme to deliver 2.3 million sq ft of high quality space by 2014, including a 700,000 sq ft building at 5 Broadgate, the 610,000 sq ft Leadenhall Building in London's insurance district and a 500,000 sq ft mixed office and residential scheme at Regent's Place in the West End.

Our size and substance demands a responsible approach to business and we focus on five areas which matter most to us and our key stakeholders: managing buildings efficiently; developing sustainable buildings; enhancing biodiversity; exceeding customers' expectations and focusing on local communities. We believe leadership on issues such as sustainability helps drive our performance and is core to our corporate vision of building the best REIT in Europe.

Further details can be found on the British Land website at www.britishland.com.

About Oxford Properties
Oxford Properties Group, the real estate arm of the OMERS Worldwide Group of Companies, is a global platform for real estate investment, development and management, with over 1,300 employees and approximately $22 billion of real assets that it manages for itself and on behalf of its co-owners and investment partners. Established in 1960, Oxford was acquired in 2001 by OMERS, one of Canada's largest pension funds with over $60 billion in assets. Oxford has regional offices in Toronto, London and New York, each with investment, development and management professionals who have deep real estate expertise and local market insight.www.oxfordproperties.com.

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