CMS Cameron McKenna pulls out of London offices deal
CMS Cameron McKenna has informed Hammerson that it no longer plans to relocate to the London offices at Principal Place, EC2.

The European law giant had agreed last summer to take up space at the office development in Hackney in the same week the local authority gave the green light to plans for the construction of Principal Place.

Around 200,000 sq ft was expected to be secured by CMS Cameron McKenna out of the total 623,000 sq ft of space the 16-storey building will offer.

While it has not ruled out relocating from its City offices in Mitre House at 160 Aldersgate Street in the future, it has postponed the move for now.

"We have been working well with Hammerson and Principal Place will be a high-quality head office in an excellent location; however, we will postpone our decision to move until market conditions are more stable. The firm's lease of Mitre House in Aldersgate Street expires in 2015 and we will explore our relocation requirements in London nearer the expiry date," senior partner at CMS Cameron McKenna Dick Tyler explained.

Meanwhile, chief executive of Hammerson David Atkins said while the design of Principal Place has come a long way, the organisation is staying away from building commercial London offices on a speculative basis in order to minimise risk to shareholders.

However, when tenants are secured for the development, it can be completed within two years of construction starting.

Mr Atkins expressed his disappointment about the CMS Cameron McKenna decision, but added he understood its stance in the current financial climate.

Hammerson has, however, enjoyed recent success in the City. After completing the 214,200 sq ft 60 Threadneedle Street building in 2009, it sold the freehold in December for £176 million to St Martins Property Investments.

The premises was valued at £165 million as of June 30th 2011.

Posted by John Evans

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