Nearly 400,000 sq ft of offices have stood vacant there since completion in late 2011.
The firm, which 18 months ago abandoned plans to take a 200,000 sq ft prelet at Principle Place in Shoreditch citing “economic uncertainties”, is relocating from the 190,000 sq ft Mitre House on 60 Aldersgate Street, a building currently up for sale.
CMS will occupy the three bottom floors of the eight floored, 400,000 sq ft office block, located above Cannon Street station.
It is understood that the initial rent is £47.50/sq ft, rising to a minimal uplift of £53/sq ft at the first review.
The deal is symbolic of a turning point in the City of London office market, where speculative developments The Walbrook and Cannon Place were both lying vacant or largely vacant until the start of this year. CMS’s retreat from the Shoreditch scheme, which is now being brought forward by Brookfield Office Properties, knocked confidence in the City market when it was announced in January 2012.
Since the start of the year, several law firms have committed to taking large chunks of space, including Bird & Bird at Great Portland Estates’ New Fetter Lane scheme, and Field Fisher Waterhouse at Riverbank House next to the Thames.
Now, Land Securities has announced it will start speculatively developing its New Ludgate office development ahead of an expected surge in demand. M&G, Rabobank, and DLA Piper are among occupiers considering agreeing prelets of 100,000 sq ft or more during the next 12-24 months.
Contrary to the current trend of dwindling supply and growing demand, Close Brothers last week agreed to regear its leases on 10 Crown Place and 10 Exchange Square, ending discussions with potential landlords about a proposed 80,000 sq ft move.
Cannon Place was developed by Hines in partnership with Network Rail and London Underground. The scheme incorporates the re-development of the two previous office buildings, and the renovation of Cannon Street station, one of London’s busiest transport hubs which serves 27 million passengers a year.
Since completing the award winning building at the end of 2011, Hines has let the 10,000 sq ft ground floor retail unit to Marks & Spencer. CMS represents the first office letting.
Mark Swetman, director at Hines, said: “The building has always attracted considerable interest, and we are naturally pleased to have secured our first letting, particularly with an occupier of the calibre of CMS Cameron McKenna.”
He continued: “We are incredibly proud of Cannon Place, it is a fabulous building and we look forward to welcoming CMS in 2015. We are currently in discussions with a number of other potential occupiers who are expressing interest in other floors of the building, and we look forward to confirming further new tenants later this year. We are now intending to finish the rest of the building to a Cat A condition. The remaining space will be available in units from 25,000 sq ft upwards.”
David Biggs, director of property at Network Rail, said: “We worked in partnership with Hines to build a new modern station at Cannon Street as well as a range of prime office space in the heart of the city. The new station is a vast improvement for the thousands of passengers who use it every day and was delivered at no cost to the taxpayer. I am extremely pleased Hines has achieved their first letting for this marvellous building, where the new tenant will be able to benefit from first class transport connections.”
Source: Nick Johnstone, Property Week