UPDATE 1-Hammerson seeks pre-lets for $565mln London office

Fri Nov 5, 2010 10:33am EDT

Related Topics

* Plans to build 350 mln stg office in London by 2014

* Seeking pre-let for one of two office buildings

(Adds project cost, share price, background)

By Daryl Loo

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Anglo-French property investor Hammerson (HMSO.L) plans to develop a 350 million pounds ($565 million) office project in London's City financial district by 2014, and is already seeking pre-lets for part of it.

Hammerson has applied for consent to develop the twin buildings, totaling 500,000 square feet, at London Wall Place. When complete they would house trading floors and offices, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Subject to planning consent and demand, the buildings would be ready for occupier fit out in 2014, and full occupation in mid-2015, Hammerson said.

By 1410 GMT, Hammerson shares were up 0.54 percent at 432.2 pence, just ahead of the 0.16 percent rise in the UK property stocks index .FTELUK.

Hammerson, which is due to announce a trading update on Nov. 9, said it expects the detailed application to be determined by summer 2011, and is seeking a pre-let for one of the buildings -- 121 London Wall -- in the meantime.

Hammerson, which owns some of Europe's most popular malls, said in August it was also seeking pre-lets for a 600,000-sq-ft Bishops Place office scheme in London, even as fears for a relapse in property prices stalk the market. [ID:nLDE66Q0EW]

The plans comes as backsliding performances and constant threats of break-up by regulators force banks to rethink their property usage, stoking industry concern of an office oversupply in Europe's key business hubs from 2014. [ID:nLDE6A00D8] (Reporting by Daryl Loo; Editing by Andrew Macdonald) ($1=.6198 Pound) (See www.reutersrealestate.com for the global service for real estate professionals from Reuters)

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