Social media giant Facebook is said to be in negotiations to lease a new London office close to the planned UK headquarters of Google.
The company reportedly intends to lease a minimum of 400,000 square feet (37,000 square metres) at the King’s Cross Central development, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.
It is also where Google parent Alphabet will develop its new UK headquarters.
At 24 hectares, King’s Cross Central is one of Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects.
It is bordered by the new Eurostar line from France and bisected by Regent’s Canal.
The masterplan sets out a framework for the incremental development a range of mixed uses spaces, including 5.4 million sq ft of office space, 2.2 million sq ft of residential space and 1.1 million sq ft of retail.
A network of public open spaces – streets, lanes, squares and parks – will permeate the urban blocks.
Early infrastructure works began in June 2007, with development starting in earnest in November 2008.
Earlier this year, Google submitted plans for its new 92,000 square metre “landscraper” London headquarters.
The building will have 11 storeys and stretch parallel to the platforms of King’s Cross railway station.
Combined with Google’s current King’s Cross office around the corner, and a third building that the company also plans on moving into in the area, it will form a new campus that will house 7,000 Google employees.
Rumours that Facebook is leasing a new London office come after other tech giants announced they planned to increase their amount of office space in the capital.
Apple plans to move its UK headquarters to Battersea Power Station, Amazon has just opened a 15-storey building in Shoreditch and Snapchat parent company Snap has set up an office in Soho.
Facebook has already signed an agreement to lease a UK office close to Oxford Street. The company chose not to exercise an option to lease a third, smaller property on Oxford Street, developer Great Portland Estates said in January.
There is about 800,000 square feet of office space still available at the King’s Cross development across several planned buildings.
The largest is 11-21 Canal Reach, which will have about 400,000 square feet.
Sources told Bloomberg the size of Facebook’s lease could change and it is not certain a deal will be completed.
A spokeswoman for Argent LLP, which is developing the project, and a representative of California-based Facebook declined to comment.
DealMakerz thinks the latest leases from the world’s biggest tech giants are a vote of confidence in the British economy following the country’s decision to leave the EU.
It proves London is still attractive despite considerable Brexit uncertainty.
As Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a speech last year: “Here in the UK, it’s clear to me that computer science has a great future with the talent, educational institutions, and passion for innovation we see all around us. We are committed to the UK and excited to continue our investment in our new King’s Cross campus.”
London is the fintech capital of Europe and it looks like it will continue luring technology companies in the years to come.
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