(Bloomberg) -- The original Canary Wharf estate has become a poster child for the problems facing office landlords. Aging buildings, the new demands of flexible work and a banking industry upended by the global financial crisis have led to a steady drumbeat of shrinking demand and departing tenants over the past months.

While the narrative has been grim, the picture on the ground is more nuanced with owners preaching patience. A wave of investment to reinvent the Docklands district as a biotech hub is slowly gaining momentum, together with a growing resident population and retail, dining and entertainment scene.

While the departure of major tenants like HSBC Holdings Plc is undoubtedly a blow, others have remained loyal with Morgan Stanley pledging in April to keep its European headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf for another decade, joining firms like Barclays and Revolut in bucking the broader trend. 

Canary Wharf Group has also started to see some success in luring life sciences companies to replace departing finance and legal firms, with hVIVO most recently leasing some of the space previously occupied by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Here’s a cross-section of some of the area’s top tenants and their plans for the coming years.


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