Great Portland Estates rents out three floors of major Whitechapel development

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Great Portland Estates PLC (LON:GPOR) got a shot in the arm on Friday as it revealed it has let 17,700 square feet (sq ft) of office space at The Hickman development on Whitechapel Road in east London.


Marketing agency Four Communications Group will occupy the fifth, sixth and seventh floors at The Hickman on ten-year leases paying an annual rent of GBP1.1mln.


The Hickman is a seven-storey building that has undergone an extensive refurbishment to provide 75,300 sq ft of repositioned office space.


This transaction leaves a further 57,600 sq ft of which negotiations are ongoing on 20,600 sq ft, said Great Portland.


Four Communications is currently the tenant at another Great Portland property, New City Court, SE1, which will now be redeveloped said the FTSE 250 group to quadruple the amount of office space to 370,000 sq ft.


In a statement, Rob Russell-Smith, the company’s senior portfolio manager said: “This transaction typifies the approach of GPE in repositioning assets and developing strong relationships with our occupiers. We are delighted that Four has chosen to stay part of the GPE family.”


Great Portland has been battling with falling rent collections from its predominately West-based portfolio due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions on its pub and restaurant tenants.


The FTSE 250 group has been granting monthly payment terms, deferring rental payments or allowing rental holidays for those struggling to pay.


Office rentals, however, have been much stronger with 86% collected for the quarter to September.

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