Apple has instructed the DTZ property agency to find office space in London for a new 70,000 - 100,000 sq ft headquarters. The US technology company behind the iconic iPhone and iPad products is understood to have considered relocating to the Royal Mail’s sorting office site at 35-50 Rathbone Place, in the Noho office district.
In September 2011, Great Portland Estates successfully purchased the 2.3-acre Rathbone Place site for £120m. Initially, the Royal Mail depot will remain operational until the summer of 2013.
The UK postal service has already recognised the redevelopment potential of this key West End site. In May, they submitted plans for a 380,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme on the site. Since the purchase GPE announced plans to submit new designs for the W1 commercial space in 2012.
Apple is currently based in Mayfair office space occupying a 68,000 sq ft HQ at 1 Hanover Street, W1. However, there is a break option in the lease for approaching in 2015. With limited central London development underway, there are only a few schemes that could meet Apple's significant business space requirements.
Besides the Mail Depot site, property insiders believe that Apple’s advisors are looking several other options, which include the Crown Estate's AirW1 building beside the Cafe Royal. Aviva Investors' and Exemplar Properties' redevelopment of Middlesex Hospital in Fitzrovia will provide office space north of Oxford Street and there is the emerging King's Cross Central project overseen by Argent.