Markel, a leading SME-focused expert in providing integrated insurance, tax and legal services, is taking 20,000 sq ft of prime office space at developer MRP’s City Square House in Leeds on a 15-year lease.
This is the one of the most significant pre-let office deals in the city during the past 12 months. It was brokered by the Leeds office of global property consultancy Knight Frank.
City Square House is a 140,000 sq ft speculative £85m development and the only remaining undeveloped property fronting City Square.
Its stunning design, with extensive use of glass and steel, will provide an unrivalled presence in both City Square and the adjacent Leeds Station.
The prime workspace will comprise Grade A office accommodation over 12-storeys including low carbon credentials, terraces on the 4th, 5th and 6th levels and extensive cycling, electric vehicle and e-bike charging point facilities.
Practical completion of this iconic building is scheduled for the end of this year, by Design & Build contractors McAleer & Rushe.
Markel, who will be occupying floors 9 and 10 of City Square House, will be joining global law firm DLA in the building. DLA have taken 83,000 sq ft, leaving 37,000 sq ft of quality office space still available.
Markel functions that will be located in the new office include: the claims, underwriting, HR and IT teams, marking a significant and exciting new phase in the company’s ambitious growth plans. With a bigger space to grow into, Markel will be able to service the region more effectively as well as supporting the local economy by attracting new talent from, and into, the Leeds area with high-skilled employment opportunities.
“Markel remains committed to Leeds and growing our business, this is demonstrated in our investments in both the office and our people,” said Markel UK’s divisional managing director, Neil Galjaard. “We are pleased to take on such a prestigious building in a prime, central location. The office will be the perfect setting to achieve our growth ambitions and demonstrates our commitment to investing in our current and future workforce. Leeds has an extensive pool of talent, and with a bigger space to grow into we hope to support the local economy.”
Angus Monteith, Development Director at MRP said: “We are delighted to welcome a company with such an excellent reputation as Markel to City Square House. This is a resounding endorsement of our development, which is a bold £85m investment in Leeds and which will provide high specification, flexible Grade A workspace in the heart of the city centre.
“A 15-year pre-let deal with Markel is a very significant and positive statement of intent in the long-term future prosperity of office space in Leeds and, indeed, in urban centres throughout the UK.”
Eamon Fox, partner and head of office agency at global property consultancy Knight Frank in Leeds, advised Markel.
“City Square House is the iconic new office development that the Leeds market has been waiting for. It is in a prime position, just off City Square and next to Leeds Station, and the remaining available space of 37,000 sq ft will help to address the pressing need for quality Grade A office space in the city centre.
“This is a significant deal for the city of Leeds, a vote of confidence in the city and its economy. Amidst this challenging economic climate, this is just the boost the whole region needed and a genuine cause to be optimistic about the commercial property sector in Yorkshire.”
When City Square House was launched last year, the then leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake, said: “City Square is already at the heart of life in Leeds and we are determined to improve it still further, creating a world-class space that is a source of pride for all our residents.
“The new development will help us achieve that aim and I look forward to seeing it take shape alongside the many other transformative projects planned for the city centre.
“It also offers a timely reminder that Leeds is very much open for business, Schemes like City Square House will form part of a Leeds-wide effort to ensure our economy recovers from these challenges in a way that leaves no one behind.”