Duff & Phelps Corp., a New York-based investment bank, media group Al Jazeera and law firm Mathys & Squire LLP are among the companies that have agreed to lease 170,000 square feet (15,800 square meters) of office space in the tower, Real Estate Management UK Ltd. said in an e-mailed statement.
Developer Sellar Property Group bought out Transport for London’s contract to rent about a third of the skyscraper in 2010, aiming for higher rents. A decline in demand for prime office space in London hampered occupancy in the tower until last year, when lettings in central London increased by 41% to 13.1 million square feet, according to broker Knight Frank LLP.
Venture capital company Foresight Financial Group Inc. (FGFH), South Hook Natural Gas and hospital operator HCA have also agreed to become tenants in the Shard, according to the statement. The Qatar Central Bank owns about 95 percent of the tower.
News Corp. (NWSA)’s News UK unit signed a 30-year lease for 430,000 square feet of space in the Place neighboring the Shard and developed by the same group on Jan. 6, according to the statement. A Shangri-La Hotel will open on stories 34 to 52 of the Shard. The Oblix, Aqua Shard and Hutong restaurants are on levels 31 to 33. The London Bridge Quarter, comprising the two buildings has agreements to rent out almost 600,000 square feet of office space so far.