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First Finance Centre block to be 'fully let by end of year'

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THE first building of the Jersey International Finance Centre is expected to be fully let by the end of the year, the Jersey Development Company has said after two new tenants were signed up.

The tenants – international engineering firm Laing O'Rourke and finance company ED Capital – have agreed to take ten per cent of the first finance centre building, taking the total floorspace let so far to 70 per cent.

Laing O'Rourke will be setting up business in Jersey for the first time, while ED Capital will be moving from their Commercial Street offices.

So far three companies – Sanne, UBS and BNP – have taken space within the finance centre.

The first building, which UBS and BNP agreed to move into, was completed earlier this year and officially opened in April, while Sanne have agreed to move into the second building, which is currently under construction.

JDC chairman Nicola Palios has previously said that negotiations were ongoing with a prospective new tenant for the second building which, if finalised, would almost completely fill the building.

Planning permission for the third building of the proposed six-building project has already been granted and construction work will begin on that once enough pre-let agreements for that building are signed.

The project has courted controversy since plans were unveiled in 2006, with some Islanders criticising the proposed design, the number of pre-let agreements that had been signed and the use of the Waterfront for office buildings.

And a recent report from the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel found that 'it is not clear' that there is demand for the envisioned six office buildings on the site.

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The report concluded that the States should reconsider running the publicly-owned Jersey Development Company in competition with the private sector.

However, the JDC has said that there is a lot of demand and that the first building should be fully let by the end of 2017 and that the project is progressing well.

A JDC spokesman said: 'The first building is now 70 per cent let having recently completed two lettings to private offices – Laing O'Rourke Corporation and ED Capital.

'These lettings totalled ten per cent of the building. JDC is in detailed negotiation with two further parties that would take the let position in International Finance Centre One to nearly 90 per cent.

'There remains strong demand for high quality office space and JDC anticipates IFC 1 being fully let by the end of the year.'

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