BlackRock, the New York-based financial services firm, has completed a deal that sees it take ownership of 80,000 square feet of Grade A office space in the heart of Edinburgh’s financial district. The deal relates to offices at Exchange Place 1, with BlackRock planning to relocate its staff in the city next year and boost its presence in the Scottish capital.
The relevant building is owned by SWIP, with CB Richard Ellis acting on behalf of BlackRock in negotiations an agreement set to see the company’s employees installed on the first, second, third and fourth floors of the landmark central Edinburgh development.
Bosses at the financial services firm have described the acquisition as an indication of their commitment to operating out of quality offices in Edinburgh and the deal has been welcomed in Scotland as the largest purchase of speculatively built offices in the city since 2003.
“We are pleased to announce our long term commitment to Edinburgh and look forward to relocating to Exchange Place 1,” said Nigel Bolton, BlackRock’s managing director, head of operations in Scotland and chief of European equities.
“The location, quality and terms available to us at Exchange Place will allow BlackRock to leverage the firm’s global expertise and breadth of product offerings to best serve clients and their advisers locally,” he said.
CBRE’s representatives on the deal reflected that their client was unlikely to find any more favourable terms than they were able to secure on such high quality offices in Edinburgh given the shortage of supply expected for the Scottish capital over the next few years.
Meanwhile, Angela Lowe from Cushman & Wakefield, who advised the previous owner of the offices on the deal, said: “The quality of the building and its specification was an important factor in securing BlackRock. This letting also reinforces the Exchange District as the location of choice for financial occupiers.”