Relocating to Canary Wharf: the lettings market

Canary Wharf in E14 is the very embodiment of reinvention, with a slick image and 24-hour community totally at odds with its part industrial, part-wasteland history.

It was in the early 1990s that this patch of land in Tower Hamlets borough regenerated to become London’s second financial hub, thanks largely to the Canary Wharf Group. Canary Wharf itself spans approximately 16 million square feet of office and retail space, with over 100,000 employees based in the immediate vicinity. Heralding its ambitious growth was the creation of One Canada Square in 1990 – the distinctive pyramid-topped tower that held the title of the UK’s tallest building until they built The Shard.

Canary Wharf’s purpose-built offices, cheaper rents (compared to the City and the West End), public transport links and proximity to City Airport quickly attracted worldwide attention, and a number of blue-chip companies – especially in the banking and financial sectors – relocated there in the 1990s and early 2000s. Smaller businesses and start-ups were also drawn in by the serviced office sector, which remains strong.

Today Canary Wharf is the UK base for global giants Bank of America, Barclays, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanly, among many others. As well as finance, other industries have chosen Canary Wharf, with BP, KPMG, Shell International Ltd, IBM and China Unicom a small sample of businesses that enjoy the location. Interestingly, tech companies are increasingly looking to Canary Wharf for office space, having found that Tech City in Old Street is becoming unaffordable. Testament to this is Level39 – Europe’s largest technology accelerator space for finance, cyber-security, retail and smart-city technology companies. Owned by the Canary Wharf Group, the initiative gives small business space and support to grow from three floors in One Canada Square.

While companies have long fought to secure the best business address in the Docklands (locations of note include Bank Street, the North and South Colonnades, Churchill Place, Westferry Circus, Cabot Square and Canada Square), the residential side of Canary Wharf has been slower to establish itself. While the early days saw E14 exist as a ghost town after office hours, today it offers a 24-hour environment that has helped apartment living flourish. Residents and office works enjoy over 120 shops set across five malls; an Everyman cinema; enough pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants to dine somewhere different every week of the year; the East Wintergarden events space and an extensive year-round arts and events programme.

 Developers, such as Ballymore, have been responsible for the creation of several landmark residential skyscrapers that give Canary Wharf its unmistakable skyline, with penthouses and apartments to rent in buildings such as The Landmark, the Seacon Tower, the Vanguard Building, Providence Tower, Baltimore Wharf, New Providence Wharf, Lincoln Plaza and Pan Peninsula. Rents vary widely, with some one-bedroom flats available for in the region of £1,700 per calendar month (pcm), ranging to £21,667 pcm for three bedrooms pcm but for that, you’ll get a penthouse with lavish interior décor, a pool table, an in-house bar and stunning views.

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Canary Wharf remains one of our biggest areas of activity, with a fluid relocation market and exemplary transports options on the doorstep, allowing employees to commute with ease on a domestic and international basis. If you have clients relocating to Canary Wharf and would like orientation and rental advice, contact Adleo Relocation today.


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