Weekly news from the central London boroughs

A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs

City of London 

EG reports that International law firm Withers has agreed to lease around 60,000 sq ft at Blackstone’s 20 Old Bailey, EC4. Withers will relocate from its current office at 16 Old Bailey, where it has a lease break in September 2018. It will pay around £65 per square foot.


PW reports  that JR Capital has completed a reversionary purchase of an office investment in Shoreditch as part of a planned deployment of £50m-£75m of equity in central London over the course of 2017. The office property at 14 Shepherdess Walk near Old Street, provides 10 years income secured to an IT company at a passing rent of £20/sq ft. The “highly reversionary” rent compares with office rents in Shoreditch which currently average north of £50/sq ft including a high of £70/sq ft recently achieved at the White Collar Factory on City Road. Allsops represented JR Capital and Sterling Ackroyd represented the vendor.

Hammersmith & Fulham 

PW reports that Coca-Cola’s former UK headquarters in Hammersmith is under offer to a Middle Eastern investor for more than £75m. The 82,000 sq ft, grade-A property at One Queen Caroline Street was refurbished in 2015 by its owners, Landid and Brockton Capital. Located above Hammersmith tube station, it was the beverage giant’s UK base for more than 20 years until it moved out in 2014. In January, Landid and Brockton let 8,239 sq ft of space on the second floor to professional services firm BTS. Other current tenants include US television network A+E and data company Kambi.

Avignon Capital has acquired a 4,885 sq ft Fulham restaurant let to Brasserie Blanc, part of the food group led by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc, Property Week can reveal. The modern, purpose-built restaurant unit is located in Fulham Reach, the high-profile riverside development on the Thames Pathway, which is due to open in early summer 2017. Alongside the signature restaurant, the overall development will cover 646,000 sq ft, and bring 744 new homes to the riverside as well as a further 45,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and office accommodation. The £2.7m Fulham restaurant will be the 19th restaurant operated by the Brasserie Blanc group, with the refresh of the group’s portfolio facilitating strong sales results in recent times. A lease term of 20 years from completion has been agreed with Brasserie Blanc, who will look to spend over £1m on their own fit-out of the property.

Kensington and Chelsea 

PW reports that Investec Structured Property Finance has provided a £55m loan facility to support Auriens’ development plans for luxury retirment living in Chelsea.The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea recently granted planning consent to Auriens for a building of 55 luxury retirement living apartments on Dovehouse Street off the King’s Road. The building will comprise of residential apartments and in excess of 30,000 sq ft of state of the art amenity space. Its development has been realised by a £200m investment, of which Investec has provided £55m through a 24-month senior debt facility.


PW reports that HB Reavis has announced the acquisition of Elizabeth House, a site on London’s South Bank known as One Waterloo with planning permission for 945,000 sq ft of development. Elizabeth House is a dated 1960s office building that has been earmarked for redevelopment for more than ten years. It has planning permission for two new buildings – a 29-storey building to the north providing offices and residential units and a 10-storey building to the south providing office and retail space. The scheme, which could be worth £1.3bn upon completion, would deliver 753,000 sq ft of commercial floorspace, 142 homes and public space totaling 192,000 sq ft. The acquisition from London & Regional and Chelsfield adds a fourth development to the HB Reavis London portfolio.

EG reports that Dubai’s Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group is in talks to buy 2&3 Bankside, SE1, from M&G Real Estate for around £400m. The deal would be the Middle Eastern group’s fourth and largest acquisition since entering the UK market in 2013, when it bought the IBM building, SE1 from Amsprop for £120m. The price understood to be agreed for 2&3 Bankside represents a yield of circa 4.75%. JLL is representing Al Gurg Group.  

Tower Hamlets 

EG reports that Fintech Investment firm Motive Partners is to open its first permanent London Office at Canary Wharf Group’s Columbus Building, E14. The deal represents the first letting at the refurbished 180,250 sq ft building. The firm has agreed to take the top floor. Knight Frank, GM Real Estate and Savills are leasing agents at the building


PW reports that Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate has carried out a series of leasing deals across its portfolio. At 111 Buckingham Palace Road in London it has re-geared the Telegraph Media Group’s lease on 125,100 sq ft of space “well in excess” of the previous rent. It has also concluded a re-gear with Regus for 31,000 sq ft in the building and signed up international software company Metalogix for 6,400 sq ft of space on a five year lease. At its office scheme Leavesden Park, in Watford, KWE has completed the 74,000 sq ft letting to Asos on a 10-year lease. The online fashion retailer is taking space once occupied by BT, which has surrendered it lease. The passing rent is 7% ahead of the previous rent.

PW reports that Standard Life Investments has put a prime West End office up for sale on the back of a record quarterly performance in the market.The fund manager has instructed JLL to sell the fully let 105 Wigmore Street, seeking a yield of 3.75%, on behalf of its £3bn Pooled Property Fund.The 77,000 sq ft building sits on the border of Marylebone and Mayfair and is multi-let to office tenants. Standard Life Investments bought the building for £82m from Strategic Real Estate Investors in 2006. It had been developed by Heron and AXA IM – Real Assets five years earlier.

PW reports that The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has withdrawn his support for the Garden Bridge project saying he would not provide the financial guarantees needed for construction to begin, making the proposed bridge unlikely to proceed.In a letter to the Garden Bridge Trust, the charity leading the project, Khan said he was taking the decision because of a continuing shortfall in fundraising for the scheme and a lack of the necessary land use agreements despite three years of talks.With planning permission expiring in December for the Thomas Heatherwick-designed bridge, the timetable appeared impossible, Khan concluded in his letter.

PW reports that WELPUT has exchanged contracts to sell 3 St James’s Square to a consortium of investors in Joint Treasure International for £135m.  The deal for the prime West End office reflects a net initial yield of 3.96% and a capital value of £2,609 per sq ft. WELPUT, the specialist central London real estate fund managed by Schroder Real Estate and advised by Grafton Advisors, initially purchased 3 St James’s Square in 2012 and comprehensively refurbished the property in 2015 to provide 51,747 sq ft of grade-A office accommodation.The average rent in the building is £107/sq ft, with rents of up to £160/sq ft on the premium suites overlooking St James’s Square. WELPUT was represented by Strutt & Parker, Colliers International and Allen & Overy.