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LONDON-Developer Consolidated Real Estate Management Services has taken a bullish view of the West End office market, demanding a premium rent for its Curzon Square office scheme on Park Lane. The developer launched the building–the biggest speculative completion in Mayfair this year–yesterday and announced a £70 ($110) per sf quoting rent.

But most market observers put prime West End rents some £10 ($15) lower. Indeed DTZ, joint letting agent at Curzon Square with Knight Frank, said in its June 2003 market report that West End prime rents had remained unchanged at £60 ($100) per sf. At the time John Forrester, Head of Central London at DTZ, said: “Whilst signs suggest that business confidence and demand may be improving, uncertainty over prospects for the economy and the property market generally is still causing developers and occupiers to adopt a cautious approach. Until we see the month-on-month rise of availability plateau, we can see no prospect of positive rental growth in the Central London office market.” Clearly his client thinks differently.

The letting agents have been instructed to seek a first letting of at least 10,000 sf for a minimum term of 15 years. They are quoting £70 ($110) per sf for the upper floors of the new-build space and £55 ($85) per sf on the refurbished, listed element of the scheme which accounts for less than 10% of the space.

CREMS Director John Sutton believes Curzon Square will command a premium price because of its landmark location with a world-famous address. He said: “Curzon Square is without rival in the Mayfair market and offers high quality design with unparalleled views of Hyde Park and the London skyline. Unique benefits include the all round natural light, the world famous address and the main entrance through the pedestrianised square.”

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