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LONDON-Development Securities has netted Visa International, the global credit card operator, as the anchor tenant of the first phase of its PaddingtonCentral development, on the site of the former Paddington Goods Yard in London’s West End.

Visa has pre-let a 12-storey, 193,000-sf building on a 20-year lease at an average annual rent of £38.50 ($55.50) per sf. Completion is scheduled for Summer 2002.

Combined with the recent 51,000-sf pre-letting to WJB Chiltern Group, the deal means that over 70% of the office space in Phase 1 of PaddingtonCentral is now pre-let. The 11-acre project will eventually provide 1.9 million sf of mixed use space, including retail and leisure facilities and over 200 apartments. Development finance has been provided by Norwich Union and Equitable Life.

Development Securities’ Joint Managing Director, Julian Barwick, said: ‘Visa’s decision to relocate is the firmest endorsement yet that Paddington is fast becoming a major new business district for London.’

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