We reported in our Law Now of 2 July that there were proposals afoot to rename the iconic Heron Tower in the City of London, “Salesforce Tower”. Protests from the other tenants in the building (after all, Salesforce only occupied 17% of the space) meant that the renaming decision was referred to the City of London Corporation. Although the application in respect of the Heron Tower was withdrawn (and the building is now to be known simply as 110 Bishopsgate), the Corporation, perhaps mindful, of the possibility of many more frequent and contested building name changes as tenants came and went, has approved additions to its “Naming and Numbering Advice Note”.
For the Corporation to give approval for a building to be named after one commercial occupier amongst many (rather than the Corporation’s traditional preference for names relating to owner, use, local history or geography), consideration will now be given to the extent to which that one occupier is the dominant occupier, and how likely it is to remain so in the future. The new guidance will expect a tenant after which a building is to be named to occupy over half of the building floor space, and to have a lease with a term of at least ten years remaining. The planning and transportation committee hope that this new approach will avoid the need for frequent and potentially confusing changes to a building’s authorised address.
To be sure though, as we suggested before, tenants occupying less than half the floor space, should consider negotiating a landlord’s obligation to maintain a generic rather than a tenant specific name for a multi-let building, or at least the obligation to consult and take into account all tenants’ views before applying for a name change.