Site was former home of Magic Circle law firm

A £75m scheme to overhaul the former City offices of Magic Circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is set to see Wates start work this autumn, Building understands.

Freshfields finally moved out of 65 Fleet Street in September 2020 into new offices at 100 Bishopsgate after the switch was delayed by the pandemic.

The Fleet Street site is deemed to be in need of an overhaul because, according to the design and access statement submitted by the project’s architect Buckley Gray Yeoman, “it no longer provides suitable office accommodation”.

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How the revamped site at 65 Fleet Street will look when finished

As well as refurbishment, the scheme’s two buildings, which were built at the end of the 1980s and previously occupied by publishing firm News International, will be extended with retail space at ground floor level. Work also includes new entrances and a roof terrace.

It is understood Wates has signed a PCSA on the two-stage job with work beginning in earnest in the third quarter of this year.

Others working on the deal include cost consultant RLB and project manager CBRE.

The building, which is also known as Whitefriars, was bought by Hong Kong investor JMI Global five years ago.

Fleet Street is fast becoming a hub of construction work with Mace winning the £350m-plus contract for Eric Parry’s Justice Quarter on the thoroughfare earlier this year while the same firm and Lendlease are now left in the race for a £350m-plus office deal at 120 Fleet Street which has been designed by BIG.