Weekly news from the central London boroughs

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


PW reports that The Crown Estate is selling its freehold interest in 10 Bloomsbury Way in London, the former HQ of the Ministry of Defence, with a guide price of £33m. It is let to London & Regional Properties on a long leasehold, and is sublet to six office tenants and one retail occupier.

City of London 

EG reports that Land Securities will consider a sale of its 50% stake in the Walkie Talkie if a strong offer is made, according to chief executive Rob Noel. ” We don’t intend to sell the Walkie Talkie, however as we always say, no asset is sacrosanct.” Whilst Land Securities is not actively seeking a sale, it is possible that the process may mirror that of the £1.2bn sale of the leadenhall building which is due to complete next week.  

EG reports that Hong Kong-listed SEA Holdings has agreed to buy HBOS’  City HQ at 33 Old  Broad Street, EC2, from Evans Randall for around £258m.  The group will acquire the Jersey-incorporated company, 33 Old Broad Street Holdings, in which the asset is held. The 192,300 sq ft building is let to HBOS for more that 23 years, making it one of the longest leases for a single-let building in the City.  CBRE advised Evans Randall. 

The Evening Standard reports that Barbican residents have slammed a 10-storey luxury flat development on an old police block site. Residents living in the Barbican claim plans to demolish a former police accommodation block to make way for 99 luxury flats are “disgraceful”. The  development, would rise to 10 storeys and include no affordable housing. More than 180 neighbours  objected to the proposal by Taylor  Wimpey. The City of London Corporation’s planning committee voted to approve the scheme on Tuesday. 


PW reports that Spanish tapas restaurant Camino has secured its fifth site, within Brookfield’s Principal Place development in Shoreditch. The restaurant operator, which is inspired by the Castile y León region of northern Spain, has signed a 15-year deal on a 4,000 sq ft restaurant at the development on Curtain Road. It will provide room for 80 in the restaurant, 75 in the tapas bar and a further 40 on an outside terrace when it opens in September.

Hammersmith & Fulham 

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has ended a joint venture with Grainger and Helical Bar to redevelop the  £150m King Street Campus, W6. They were selected in 2008 to develop the 6.5 acre site, which would have included 200 flats, offices and a cinema, but no progress has been made on the scheme. 

Tower Hamlets 

PW reports that Aldgate Developments has agreed a deal to buy a £65m office development scheme in east London with the backing of a Hong Kong investor. The joint venture partners have entered into exclusive talks to buy One Braham, located next to Aldgate Tower in Aldgate, from Starwood Capital. Aldgate Developments already held a small stake in the development site with Starwood, but the US private equity firm decided to sell its interest due to concerns over Brexit’s impact on the London market. Starwood instructed Cushman & Wakefield and Eastdil Secured earlier this year to market the development opportunity for £65m.


EG reports that Selfridges owner the Weston family is close to securing a deal to buy 105 Wigmore Street, W1 for £130m. The purchase of the 77,000 sq ft block could unlock a £300m development opportunity that the family has been working on since 2003, when it instructed architects to design a 100,000 sq ft retail extension and a 300,000 sq ft office and hotel extension behind its flagship Oxford Street department store. The Wigmore street property is the last one on the block that the family does not own yet. CBRE is advising the Weston family. 

PW reports that Lodha UK, the UK arm of India’s largest property developer, has raised £290m from Cain Hoy to fund the construction of its £475m Lincoln Square development in London’s Midtown. The facility is one of the largest ever loans from a single provider for a UK residential scheme, and includes £80m to replace existing debt that Cain Hoy provided last year. The balance will be used to fund the project over the next two years before expected completion at the end of 2018. The 200-home scheme of luxury apartments has already pre-sold 78 units worth almost £130m since it launched in May last year.

EG reports that the Regent Street Partnership JV between Norges Bank Real Estate Management and the Crown Estate has taken full control of three West End properties, paying £120m. Totalling 54,000 sq ft of shops and offices, 263-269 Oxford Street and 3-5 Swallow Place; 1 Princes Street Street and 6 Swallow Place and 2-4 Princes Street. The mix of freeholds and leaseholds were sold by a JV between Aviva Life and Pensions UK and the Public Sector Investment Board.

PW reports that the Crown Estate and Oxford Properties’ £400m landmark scheme, St James’s Market, is now two-thirds (68%) let, following agreements with two new office occupiers. The two international firms, energy company SOCAR Trading and an unnamed occupier, are to locate their UK headquarters at 2 St James’s Market, taking the 6th and 7th floors of the new office development respectively. St James’s Market, located between Haymarket and Regent Street St James’s, comprises 210,000 sq ft of office space alongside six flagship retail stores and seven new restaurants, all set within over half an acre of revitalised public space. In total, over 175,000 sq ft at the development has been let so far, including over 130,000 sq ft of office space. That incorporates the new UK headquarters of Formula 1, The Carlyle Group and The Crown Estate.

PW reports that Macquarie Lending has provided £30m of senior secured debt to Carter Victoria for the acquisition of three office buildings in Westminster, including the headquarters of shopping centre group Intu. The three adjacent grade-B long-leasehold buildings are Intu’s offices at 40-48 Broadway (38,713 sq ft), 1-11 Carteret Street (21,263 sq ft) and 13-15 Carteret Street (11,923 sq ft). The loan has a first mortgage security over the properties. The loan comes at a busy time for Macquarie Lending, which has made £1bn of new commitments in the past 12 months alone.

The West End Extra reports that a new group Better Oxford Street is calling on residents to say ‘No’ to TfL plans for the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street. The new group is made up of members from The Marylebone Association, The Soho Society, Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, Charlotte Street Association, Mayfair Residents Group and the Residents Society of Mayfair and St James’s.