The Shard is opened today after 10 years of planning and just 2 years of construction. Irvine Sellar, the developer, has emerged with just 5% of his scheme, having sacrificed 95% to The Quatar Central bank to get it completed.

Paid TFL to break Shard lease in 2010

During a period of heady optimism in 2010 the Shard's greedy owners bought out the lease that TFL had on around a third of the 600,000 sq ft of office space, anticipating City rents would be £70 per sq.ft, whereas now demand has evaporated and £55 psf would be a good deal.

Austere market

Demand for even the best London space has turned “moribund of late,” Anthony Duggan, head of research at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, wrote in May. Some companies in the City are leasing second-hand space to cut costs, which “does little to instill optimism” for developers with nearly completed buildings, Duggan wrote.

Additional Space

The 72 storey Shard will increase the amount of newly built and still empty office property in London by about 15% to 4.6 million sq ft, according to data compiled by Drivers Jonas Deloitte. When The Place, a 17-story building paired with the Shard, is completed next year it will add 429,000 square feet.

More on the way

While construction has begun on the Cheesegrater and the Walkie Talkie, both of which have some pre-let space, construction hasn’t started on a tower near Liverpool Street station planned by Great Portland Estates Plc and Brookfield Office Properties Inc. Development of the Pinnacle, a 64-story office tower with a million square feet of space has stalled, according to Driver Jonas Deloitte.