Chinese Social Media Giant Taking 140,000 Square Feet at Topland and Beltane Building

Topland Group and Beltane Asset Management have secured social media platform TikTok Information Technologies for a major London office prelet at their Verdant development in Farringdon.

Comprising 140,000 square feet of offices, the scheme is in the heart of the “Cultural Mile” and connects 150 Aldersgate Street and 3-4 Bartholomew Place in Farringdon. It is due for completion in the third quarter of 2024. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a China-founded technology company.

Mark Kingston, managing director of Topland, said in a statement: “We are delighted to have transacted with this growing, cutting-edge brand that was seeking exceptional modern office space in the heart of London.

“Our decision to build speculatively demonstrates our confidence in the London office market, which has now been borne out by signing such a quality client. Verdant provides truly sustainable next generation office space which appeals to a wide range of occupiers.”

Sol Zakay, Chairman and CEO, added: “Our decision to proceed with numerous developments is paying dividends as proven by this pre-let and our pre-let in Brighton of the new Maldron Hotel to Dalata.

“We are also excited about our office development on Upper Street, London, and our build to rent scheme at Paradise Circus in Birmingham.”

Verdant has a low embodied carbon footprint achieved by reusing approximately 80% of the existing structure, natural ventilation throughout and a bespoke biophilic design integrated into the architecture.

It has green roofs, terraces on all floors, hard and soft landscaping and external courtyards. Communal facilities incorporated include a ground floor café and co-working area and more than 250 cycle spaces.

The development has entrances on both Bartholomew Close and Aldersgate Street and is located within 100 yards of the new Farringdon East Elizabeth line station and TikTok’s nearby Kaleidoscope building.

The development will be a boost for London office markets wary of announcements in recent times by major tech players about the need to scale back their offices to manage costs.

Provisional figures from JLL supplied to CoStar News do show a clear drop in take-up by the TMT sector (technology, media and telecommunications).

It expects TMT to have accounted for 17% of the market, or 1.6557 million square feet, in 2022, with banking and finance, and professional services, having stepped into the breach in an otherwise strong year.

The figure for TMT take-up is the lowest percentage-wise in London in the last 10 years, apart from the 15% in 2019. The figure is down on the 10-year average of 23% and dramatically down on 2021 when 29% of all office take-up was accounted for by TMT.

Helical let the whole of the 88,500-square-foot Kaleidoscope building above the Farringdon Elizabeth line Station to TikTok Information Technologies UK for its UK headquarters, in March 2021.

The lease was for a 15-year term with a tenant option to break at year 10, with an undisclosed market rent-free period granted. The building has subsequently sold to Hong Kong’s ChinaChem.

In August 2022, TikTok agreed a deal to take 83,000 square feet at IPUT Real Estate’s Tropical Fruit Warehouse at 30-32 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2. It was the second largest office deal of the third quarter.

Leasing agents at Verdant were Cushman and Wakefield and BH2.