Credit Agricole set to take 150,000 sq ft in Canary Wharf
Credit Agricole has chosen a Canary Wharf office building currently occupied by Morgan Stanley as its preferred option for a new London headquarters, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The French bank is negotiating a lease for about 150,000 sq ftat 25 Cabot Square with US real estate company Hines, which owns the building, the people said, asking not to be named because the information is private.
The deal hasn't been finalized and Credit Agricole could revert to its other short-listed option of subleasing space from Citigroup at 25 Canada Square in Canary Wharf, the people said. Spokesmen for Credit Agricole, Hines, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup declined to comment.
Banks are seeking to cut costs by moving to cheaper locations and using buildings more efficiently, broker CBRE said in a report last week. Credit Agricole is currently based in the City of London district where rents for the best space are about £70 (€90) per square foot, compared with £39 per square foot in Canary Wharf, according to broker Knight Frank.
Morgan Stanley sold 25 Cabot Square to Hines for £225m in 2014 with an agreement to lease back half the 450,000 square feet of space for 15 years and half for three years with an option to extend, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The US bank will remain in part of the building, the people said.
Canary Wharf has seen a surge of activity in recent years, as banks and other firms seek to move out of the City of London to the area in search of more space and larger floor plates. (Bloomberg)