Malory Clifford's Blackfriars Investments is close to securing Transport for London as a tenant at its Palestra scheme in London's Southwark

TfL is in advanced talks to take around 220,000 sq ft (20,438 sq m) at the 300,000 sq ft (27,870 sq m) Will Alsop-designed building, opposite Southwark Tube station.

TfL had also shortlisted Great Portland Estate's Tooley Street scheme, near London Bridge station, but the 200,000 sq ft (18,580 sq m) scheme was not deemed to be big enough. It is understood that TfL is also considering an option to take an overriding lease on the building.

The letting will be particularly satisfying for Blackfriars and its partner, Royal London Asset Management, which took a bold step in developing a large building in a ‘fringe' location for office space.

Palestra is now seen as part of a wider regeneration of Southwark, which includes Land Securities' Bankside 123 scheme. Palestra is to be officially opened in September. Terms have been sent out to TfL at around £35/sq ft (£376.74/sq m).

Blackfriars supplied the land for Palestra and Royal London supplied the equity. Debt funding was from Bank of Scotland.