Developer MRP has signed a significant 20-year lease on 83,000 sq. ft of prime office space in Leeds City Centre with leading global law firm DLA Piper.

City Square House is a 140,000 sq. ft speculative £85m project, which will see the largest private sector pre-let deal in Leeds in the last 20 years. The site is the only remaining undeveloped property fronting City Square and its stunning design with extensive use of glass and steel provides unrivalled presence to both City Square and the adjacent Leeds Station.

The new office development will comprise sustainable and flexible Grade A office accommodation within a 12-storey building to include extensive reception and common areas meeting the needs of occupiers in a post-Covid environment. There will be extensive cycling, electric vehicle and e-bike charging point facilities.

McAleer & Rushe has been appointed as main contractor with construction due to commence in May this year with completion scheduled for Q4 2023.

Angus Monteith, Property Director at MRP said:

“We are thrilled to have secured DLA Piper, one of the world’s leading law firms, to this prestigious building and the 20-year pre-let deal is testament to the positive engagement of our respective teams. City Square House is a very significant and positive statement of intent in the long-term future prosperity of office space in Leeds and, indeed, in urban centres throughout the UK.”

Eamon Fox, partner and head of office agency at global property consultancy Knight Frank in Leeds, advised DLA Piper.

“City Square House is the iconic new office development that the Leeds market has been waiting for. It is in a prime position, just off City Square and next to Leeds Station, and the remaining available space of 55,000 sq ft will help to address the pressing need for quality Grade A office space in the city centre.

This is an absolutely tremendous deal for the city of Leeds, a massive vote of confidence in the city and its economy. After the challenging past 12 months, this is just the boost the whole region needed and a genuine cause to be optimistic about the commercial property sector in Yorkshire.

It is also fitting that DLA Piper, whose origins as a law firm in Leeds date back to the 19th century, are helping to kick-start one of the most significant developments in the city.”

Andrew Dyson, Leeds office managing partner at DLA Piper, said:

“Leeds is an integral part of DLA Piper and our move to City Square House reflects our long term commitment to the city.

We currently operate across two sites in Leeds, but with the move we will be able to bring our people under one roof and provide many more opportunities to collaborate.

The new office will be a state of the art working environment for our great people and a significant asset as we continue to attract the very best talent into the region.

This is an exciting opportunity for us to design a sustainable office fit for the way our people and our clients will work together in the future. In light of the pandemic this never feels more relevant or important.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“City Square is already at the heart of life in Leeds and we are determined to improve it still further, creating a world-class space that is a source of pride for all our residents.

The new development will help us achieve that aim and I look forward to seeing it take shape alongside the many other transformative projects planned for the city centre.

It also offers a timely reminder that Leeds is very much open for business, despite the huge challenges posed by COVID-19.

Schemes like City Square House will form part of a Leeds-wide effort to ensure our economy recovers from the pandemic in a way that leaves no one behind.”

DLA Piper will be bringing nearly 600 staff to City Square House from its two Leeds offices at Princes Exchange and West One.