Willis Group Holdings, Ltd. has sold its present London headquarters at Ten Trinity Square in the heart of EC3, London’s financial center, to the American retail, hotel and leisure development firm Thomas Enterprises, which plans to redevelop the site into a prestigious hotel.
Willis said: “The building has been used as Willis’ Global Headquarters since the mid 1970’s and provides a net area of approximately 155,000 sq. ft and a gross internal area of approximately 255,000 sq. ft.” It did not state the price, but reports indicate it’s around £100 million ($188.5 million). Property in The City is at a premium, as the area is relatively small, and there are few tall buildings.
Chairman and CEO Joe Plumeri commented: “The illustrious history of Ten Trinity Square made it the perfect home for Willis who has a similarly distinguished 178-year history. In our quest to become the world’s greatest insurance broker, we are relocating our rapidly growing London headquarters to what is going to be yet another architectural icon – The Willis Building on Lime Street. We are delighted to be leaving the beautiful old building in the capable hands of Thomas Enterprises who we are sure will do this renowned landmark justice.”
Willis plans to move into its new Lime Street location – directly across from Lloyd’s – when the building is completed, sometime in 2008. It will remain at 10 Trinity Square until the move. The new London headquarters has already been dubbed “Plumeri’s Palace” by the locals.