London-The London Stock Exchange has ended speculation that it was planning a move to Docklands by signing a lease at Mitsubishi Estates’ Paternoster Square in the City of London.

The exchange will relocate from the Stock Exchange Tower to an eight-story 220,000-sf building at King Edward’s Court, Paternoster Square in 2004. A 25-year lease has been signed at initial rent of £12.5 million ($17.5 million) per annum.

The automation of many of the stock exchange’s functions means that the old Stock Exchange Tower is now far too large for the exchange’s requirements and it currently only occupies 62% of the floorspace. The exchange plans to sell the building once its relocation is complete. The tower was valued on 31 March 2001 by DTZ Debenham Tie Leung on an Existing Use Value basis at £93 million ($129.25 million).

The stock exchange’s chief executive Clara Furse said: ‘I am pleased to confirm the Exchange’s new headquarters will be based in the City of London. The City is widely regarded as the financial heart of Europe and the London Stock Exchange is part of its lifeblood. We want to stay close to our customers–most of whom are based in the City.’

DTZ Debenham Tie Leung and CB Hillier Parker were the joint letting agents. The London Stock Exchange was advised by Insignia Richard Ellis.

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