Lloyds of London is involved in talks which could result in the insurer quitting its iconic City headquarters for the forthcoming Gotham City development according to the Sunday Times.
Lloyds has occupied the Grade I listed Richard Rogers designed tower since 1986 but has made no secret of its frustrations with the building’s maintenance costs.
Last year former chief executive Richard Ward said; “There is a fundamental problem with this building. Everything is exposed to the elements and this makes it very costly.”
In addition, technological advances mean that Lloyds no longer needs the entire 350,000 sq ft and sublets around a third of the available space.
According to the report Lloyds is now considering relocating to offices in the nearby 910,000 sq ft Leadenhall Street development which was approved in February.
The new building is being developed by Henderson Global Investors and is designed by award-winning Make Architects.
It will vary in height from 7 to 34 storeys arranged in ‘vertical slices’ sandwiched between the Walkie-Talkie and the Gherkin. The nineteenth century 19-21 Billiter Street will be restored and integrated into the scheme which is due to be completed in 2020.
If the move materialises it will leave the Chinese owners of the Lloyds Building in search of new tenants. According to some experts in the City market this could prove difficult because, along with the maintenance costs, the building was purpose built and would require major interior alterations.