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The Shard boosts London office space supply

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With office space at a premium in London, businesses will have been watching with interest as The Shard rises from its Southwark building site.

Now complete, the dazzling structure is Europe’s tallest habitable building at 309.6m (1,016 feet – that’s almost twice the size of Blackpool Tower).

With 72 floors of empty space – and a hefty construction bill to pay – The Shard is set to become home to a range of private sector enterprises.

According to the developers, a mix of tenants are being sought to occupy the building, rather than a single overbearing tenant.

And this may alert companies seeking new premium office space in the capital.

But whether or not companies will be eager to take out office space on the 65th floor of such a giant structure remains to be seen.

The Shard will certainly not be the place for those of a nervous disposition – it is a genuine commercial skyscraper to rival those of other major trading centres around the world.

Office workers who lack a head for heights will be best advised seeking employment opportunities elsewhere.

The Shard is not too far short of the Empire State Building in height terms – the famous New York landmark, once the world’s tallest building, stands at 381 metres.

But in London, you cannot help but notice The Shard – it dwarfs everything around.

Even its predecessor as the UK’s tallest habitable building is dwarfed by the development – Canary Wharf’s One Canada Square stands at a comparatively measly 235m above ground level.

Of course, many of the best office buildings in London are built from stone and marble rather than steel and glass.

The capital has a fine architectural heritage dating back hundreds of years, and many firms prefer traditional commercial property in the West End to snazzy office blocks on the banks of the Thames.

Demand for office space in London remains high as ever, but there is sufficient availability to ensure companies find a home best-suited to their tastes.

And with another 600,000 sq ft of office space coming online in The Shard, supply pressures may be set to ease slightly – at least in the short-term.