(Bloomberg) — When work halted on the Pinnacle tower in the City of London, most investors saw little more than an abandoned site. Axa Real Estate Investment Managers viewed it as an opportunity.

"The foundation exists at this building. This is one thing we like a lot" because it will allow faster completion than rival projects, Pierre Vaquier, chief executive officer at the property unit of Europe's largest insurer, said in a March 10 interview.

Speed is an essential part of Axa's acquisition of the Pinnacle site because office rents in the financial district are forecast to rise about 16% through 2018 by broker CBRE Group Inc. In that year, occupiers have options to leave 3.9 million square feet (362,000 square meters) of offices in the City, data compiled by Knight Frank LLP show.

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