Facebook owner Meta leaves London office as tech firms reduce space
- Targets £149m to give up its lease, despite having 18 years left on its lease
- Big Tech has taken steps to reduce costs and reduce the size of offices around the world
- Meta still rents another nearby office building owned by the same company
Facebook owner Meta has abandoned its lease on a major London office block as tech firms cut space amid a global economic slowdown and the rise of hybrid working.
The company has paid £149m to give up its contract for 1 Triton Square, a development next to Regent’s Park, despite having 18 years left on its lease on the site.
It comes as Big Tech tries to cut costs and reduce office size, a move that has affected cities such as San Francisco but has also spread to other major centers including London.
British Land, owner of 1 Triton Square, said it expected Meta’s decision to shave around £5.6m from its half-year profits as it searched for a new tenant to rent the space.
Despite this, the company reiterated its full-year guidance, saying it was supported by better-than-expected back rent collections due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meta paid £149 million to give up its contract for 1 Triton Square, despite having 18 years left on its lease on the site.
Analysts estimated the multimillion-dollar sum paid by Meta was equivalent to around seven years’ rent and, according to British Land boss Simon Carter, would provide the property group with a cash injection to “accelerate” redevelopment plans. office space to further attract life sciences companies.
Broker Peel Hunt also noted there was a possibility the company would re-let the 310,000 square feet of space at a higher rent.
In December last year, Meta said it would not occupy the office in Triton Square and would instead look to sublease the space.
But a source close to British Land told the Mail that the property company had refused to allow this, prompting the decision to tear up the lease entirely.
Meta still leases another nearby British Land office building, 10 Brock Street, but has previously terminated leases in other cities such as New York as part of a cost-cutting move.