London / Bloomberg
Wells Fargo & Co., the world’s largest bank by market value, is close to a deal to lease an office building being constructed near the Bank of England in the City of London financial district, a person with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.
The 33 Central building will have a rooftop garden with views of the River Thames when it’s completed by Slovak developer HB Reavis Group. The property, due to be finished in the first quarter of next year, will have 225,000 square feet of space, according to the property’s website. HB Reavis declined to comment.
“As a normal course of business, we regularly evaluate our real estate portfolio to ensure we are efficiently utilizing space requirements for our businesses,” Kathryn Ellis, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, said.
Wells Fargo has been growing its European commercial real estate lending business since 2013, when it bought 4 billion pounds ($5.7 billion) of U.K. commercial property loans from a unit of Germany’s Commerzbank AG. Earlier this month, the bank denied a report that it was in discussions with Credit Suisse Group AG to buy a large part of the Swiss firm’s investment- banking and capital-markets business.
The supply of offices in the City of London is at the lowest level in 15 years as finance companies compete with technology firms to lease space, according to broker Knight Frank LLP. Rents for the best spaces rose 12 percent last year to 70 pounds a square foot.