A weekly round up of the lastest property news from the central London boroughs.
City of London
EG reports that Royal Bank of Scotland has instructed agents to sell the freehold of a 244,000 sq ft City office block it plans to vacate as part of its cost-cutting estate strategy. Cushman & Wakefield is seeking offers in excess of £145m for Premier Place at 2.5 Devonshire Square, EC2, where the bank occupies the entire building. The nine-storey building which is situated at the northern edge of the City’s eastern cluster, designated by the City of London Corporation as appropriate for tall buildings and intensificiation, could represent a significant refurbishment of redevelopment opportunity.
Hamersmith & Fulham
PW reports that ITV Studios has announced it is moving its daytime production business from South Bank to The WestWorks building in White City, formerly the BBC Media Village. ITV will occupy 27,000 sq ft of modern office space at White City Place, as 350 ITV staff move into The WestWorks building in 2018 during the redevelopment of its South Bank site. It will also sub-let studio space from BBC Studioworks in nearby Television Centre. All of this space is within Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosan’s mixed-use redevelopment of the former BBC TV headquarters on Wood Lane in the White City Place business district, which will comprise 1m sq ft of office space.
PW reports that The London Borough of Lambeth is “reviewing all of its medium- and high-rise stock” in light of Wednesdays fire at Grenfell Towers in West London. Lambeth’s strategic director for neighbourhoods and growth Sue Foster told the London Real Estate Forum this morning that the council was carrying out risk assessment on all its medium- and high-rise stock and that other boroughs were doing the same. She stressed that all the borough’s housing stock has up-to-date fire risk assessments, but that the review could change the way it refurbishes stock in the future.
PW reports that Hines has announced that its office building at 1 Westferry Circus in Canary Wharf will be marketed for sale at £123m. The 225,000 sq ft office building is priced at a yield of 5.15% at a capital value rate of £548/sq ft. JLL and Cushman & Wakefield have been appointed as joint sales agents and will lead a global sales campaign which is expected to appeal to a wide audience of investors from Asia, MENA, the UK and the US.
PW reports that Hines has unveiled plans to redevelop its Canary Wharf office scheme 25 Cabot Square, which will bring 200,000 sq ft of office space to the market. The 455,000 sq ft building – which will be rebranded The Cabot – was acquired in 2014 via a sale and leaseback with Morgan Stanley, which occupies 250,000 sq ft over levels one to six. Hines will undertake a complete renovation of the office space across levels seven to 14 of the building, bringing over 200,000 sq ft of new office space to the market when the work is completed in late-2018, coinciding with the opening of the new Crossrail Elizabeth line. The US firm, which had been close to agreeing a 150,000 sq ft letting at the building to Credit Agricole last year before the Brexit vote scuppered the deal, said the shortage of new or redeveloped stock coming to the market triggered its decision to proceed with the renovation of the building. It will also carry out a comprehensive redevelopment of the ground floor entrance and add an additional 10,000 sq ft of retail across four new units.
PW reports that Specialist sustainable lender Bridges Fund Management has sold its Whitechapel ‘green hotel’, Qbic, to an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management. Bridges first invested in Qbic via its Sustainable Growth Fund III in 2012, funding the transformation of a disused 56,000 sq ft office building into the boutique 171-room hotel. KPMG Corporate Finance advised Bridges on the sale, while Addleshaw Goddard provided legal counsel.
EG reports that Greystar has made its second foray into the Vauxhall Nine Elms market in SW8 as it grows its rental offering south of the river. The US multifamily giant has bought plots B and D from Royal Mail for £101m. The 14-acre site is used to house Royal Mail’s sorting office. Greystar plans to build 894 homes on its 2.7 acres. The entire site has outline consent for 1,870 homes. There are a further five plots up for sale.
PW reports that Raffles Hotels & Resorts will operate the former Old War Office hotel on London’s Whitehall after signing a management contract with owners Hinduja Group and Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD). The brand, which is part of the the AccorHotels Group, will manage the grade II* listed hotel when it opens in three years’ time. The property was initially completed in 1906, and was the office to many of the United Kingdom’s most important and influential political and military leaders of the twentieth century, notably Sir Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, Lord Kitchener, Herbert Asquith and TE Lawrence. It was also the haunt of the British Secret Service who had their own, more discreet entrance. It was acquired by Hinduja Group and OHLD in December 2014 following a public bid. Planning permission was granted for a multi-purpose development including 125 rooms (of which 40% are suites), 88 private residences, restaurants and other amenities.
PW reports that The first, flagship store created by the partnership of David Beckham and Daniel Kearns is to open in Covent Garden with Kent & Curwen agreeing a lease with Capco. British heritage sportswear brand, Kent & Curwen, will open the brand’s first concept store in the autumn at 12 Floral Street in Covent Garden. Creative director Kearns said he was excited to bring “the buzz back to Floral Street”. The store concept, designed by Paris-based ‘architecture & associe’ will lead a new global direction for the brand backed by partner David Beckham.