December 7, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Many media companies–having downsized or eliminated European offices years ago–wouldn’t dream of establishing satellite digs abroad, but Bloomberg L.P. plans to do just that. The Financial information services and media concern has signed an agreement with Legal & General Investment Management to acquire the 3.5-acre Walbrook Square site in London for its new 500,000 square-foot European headquarters.
Currently, Bloomberg makes its London home at 39-45 Finsbury Square, where the company set up shop 23 years ago. While the space has expanded to accommodate 2,300 employees, the company is in a growth mode and in need of more elbowroom.
Specific project details are not yet available, as plans have just gotten underway, but leading architectural firm Foster + Partners is onboard the Bloomberg development endeavor to guide the design process. As it stands, Walbrook Square–designated for redevelopment a few years ago–will not only feature Bloomberg’s new office tower, it will also include a speculative building, retail offerings and public space. Bloomberg’s vision for the site, which had been home to the antiquated Bucklersbury House office campus, was not the first.
In 2007, LGIM announced a partnership with Spanish property company Metrovacesa SA to redevelop the location into an 875,000 square-foot office campus with 95,000 square feet of retail space, but those plans ended in lawsuits between the two parties. Legal issues concluded earlier this year with Metrovacesa paying a fee to extricate itself from the joint venture.
As for Bloomberg’s deal with LGIM, a company spokesperson told CPE that Bloomberg is not releasing any details regarding the financial particulars of the transaction at this time.
Bloomberg has tapped Tishman Speyer to serve as development manager for the London headquarters project. If all goes as planned construction could get underway in early 2012, and reach completion in 2015.