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Business Space Deals

Edinburgh's Quartermile bags major office prelet

5th August 2015

Moorfield and Quartermile backed by M&G Real Estate have secured Edinburgh-based sports entertainment business FanDuel for what is understood to be the Scottish capital’s largest office prelet in more than 10 years.

FanDuel has signed for 58,567 sq ft on the top three floors of the £50m seven-storey 128,600 sq ft speculatively developed Quartermile 4 building at the heart of the city centre’s Quartermile.

The rent has not been disclosed but is understood to be in excess of £30 per sq ft.

FanDuel is the first to sign on the new offices and has agreed a 15-year lease, with a ten-year break clause. According to CBRE, joint agent with Montagu Evans, the deal is Edinburgh’s largest pre-let in over 10 years.

FanDuel employs almost 300 staff split between the UK and US. The deal will see the company’s Edinburgh based staff move from its existing accommodation within the Quartermile 1 office building. FanDuel’s new offices will have capacity to accommodate around 500 people.

Construction of Quartermile 4 is underway and is due to be completed in April 2016. It is being built as a result of an £80m funding deal secured by Quartermile with M&G Real Estate last June to speculatively develop the remaining two office buildings at the development.

Quartermile 4 will be the first new office building to be finished in Edinburgh city centre out of those being constructed. FanDuel will occupy its new office from 2016.

FanDuel chief executive, Nigel Eccles, said: “We founded our business in Edinburgh five years ago and Quartermile has been our home for the past year. It’s an outstanding location which provides us with all that we need.

“Quartermile’s a great place for our people to work and relax, which helps us attract and retain the best staff. The development’s overall thoughtful design and complementary mix of office, retail, leisure and residential properties gives it a genuine campus feel which isn’t replicated anywhere else in the city. Importantly, Quartermile is also recognised as a key location for Edinburgh’s burgeoning tech sector.

“When the opportunity arose to relocate to Quartermile 4 we had little hesitation in doing so. The development’s management team, led by Paul Curran, have been very helpful throughout and understand the needs of a business like ours. We’re now looking forward to making the move and continuing to implement our controlled growth strategy.”

FanDuel offers competitions in free and paid fantasy leagues across the NFL, NBA, NHL and other US sports. The company has over one million active paying users and this year expects to give away prizes totalling $2bn.

Quartermile managing director, Paul Curran, said: “FanDuel is a remarkable success story and we are very pleased to be in the position of working with Nigel and his team as the business continues to expand. It’s an exciting, fast-growing company with huge potential, and we’re proud to be home to FanDuel.

“This deal further establishes Quartermile as being at the heart of Edinburgh’s world-class tech sector and demonstrates the development’s continued momentum. It also validates our decision to secure the £80m speculative development funding deal with M&G Real Estate last year.

“There is a significant amount of interest from a number of parties for the remaining space at Quartermile 4, so we are hopeful of making further announcements in the near future.”

Aaron Pope, director, asset management at M&G Real Estate, said: “This significant letting to FanDuel supports M&G Real Estate’s strategy of speculatively developing in carefully selected regional markets. Quartermile is a true reflection of a development that offers retail, residential and offices that complement one another.”

FanDuel was advised on the deal by property agents Eric Young & Co and law firm Lindsays. Quartermile was represented by joint agents CBRE and Montagu Evans with legal advice provided by Brodies.

Quartermile 4 and the final office building, Quartermile 3, will ultimately provide Grade A office space for over 2,000 people and will complete the office component at the development. Companies locating to Quartermile will be alongside other existing high profile occupiers including flight search business Skyscanner, Investec and IBM.

Quartermile is expected to be completed in 2018. Once concluded, the development will provide Edinburgh with 1,050 apartments of which 531 are already occupied and another 274 currently being built, 370,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation, 65,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space and seven acres of open landscaping.

Further details from Neil Gordon