A weekly round up of the latest property news from the central London boroughs
PW reports that Viridis Real Estate has completed the letting of its flagship 100,000 sq ft HQ office development to special effects firm Framestore. Framestore, advised by Feiner de Smith, will consolidate its three offices from Soho & Noho into 28 Chancery Lane in the heart of Midtown. Under the terms of the agreement, Framestore has signed a 15 year lease for the whole building, commencing on 24 June. Joint agents CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield advised Viridis on the deal.
City of London
PW reports that BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) has sold Pinners Hall in the City of London to an unidentified Asian investor for more than the asking price of £92.5m. The office building at 105-108 Old Broad Street, offer 109,500 sq ft seven storeys of office space, and the property is multi-let to four tenants including Deutsche Bank and the British Bankers Enterprises. CBRE advised BNP Paribas REIM Germany on the sale.
EG reports that WeWorks is set to make its second direct real estate purchase in London. The co-working giant is close to completing a deal to buy 51 Eastcheap, EC3, a 74,000 sq ft City office block for around £48m. It is understood that WeWork will refurbish the building, which has consent to expand to 90,000 sq ft. The deal is part of WeWork’s ongoing growth in London. Last week it also agreed terms to buy the 82,000 sq ft 120 Moorgate, EC2, from Redevco for around 40m.
EG reports that Investors are being sought to pump up to £200m into the development of Hackney Walk, a 900,000 sq ft retail scheme billed as London’s answer to Bicester Village. GM Real Estate has been appointed to source the investment by Jacob Loftus’s General Projects, which is to be the development manager on the project. A new discount fashion district on Morning Lane, E9 will be build on a 3.5-acre site currently occupied by a Tesco superstore. Plans are for buildings of five to 15 storeys, with 346,000 sq ft of retail and leisure, 259,000 sq ft of offfices and 211,000 sq ft of residential. The opportunity is understood to have attracted interest from prospective institutional funders. The overall development value could be up to £1bn, with around £500m needed to fund the build-out.
PW reports that Mildreds, the vegetarian restaurant concept, is set to open a fourth site in London after securing a site in Dalston. The group, which was founded in 1988 by Jane Muir and Diane Thomas, has secured a site on Dalston Square which is owned by MRC Pension Trust and was formerly home to Japanese CanteenIt paid a £30,000 premium for the leasehold interest, which is held on the remainder of a 15 year lease expiring April 2029 at a passing rent of £75,000 per annum exclusive. The A3 corner restaurant premises comprises 3,400 sq ft on ground floor with outside seating. Mildreds also operates sites in Kings Cross, Soho and Camden.
PW reports that Carlsberg UK has acquired Hackney-based craft beer maker London Fields Brewery for an estimated £4m. Operating as a joint venture between Carlsberg and Brooklyn Brewery, for which Carlsberg is the UK distributor, London Fields will continue to operate independently, retaining current staff, but Brooklyn will be involved in the brewing process. London Fields Brewery was founded in 2011 and now has a bar and a brewhouse venue in Hackney, as well as its brewery which Carlsberg has pledged to get up and running again. It was first put up for sale early last year after founder Jules Whiteway-Wilkinson was charged with deliberately not paying VAT and other charges for which he is due to go on trial later this month. The move is the latest in a string of big drinks companies buying London craft brewers, after SABMiller bought Greenwich-based Meantime and AB InBev snapped up Camden Town Brewery, both in 2015.
Hammersmith and Fulham
PW reports that WeWork is in negotiations to open its first workspace in Hammersmith, west London, as it continues to branch out from central London. The US co-working operator is understood to be in discussions to take 50,000 sq ft at 12 Hammersmith Grove, the 11-storey building owned by U+I and Aberdeen Asset Management. The deal would make WeWork the scheme’s largest tenant.The opening of the co-working office in Hammersmith reflects the area’s emergence as a hub for media and technology brands, which make up many of WeWork’s tenants.
PW reports that Two Michelin star Hong Kong restaurant Duddell’s will make its UK debut at restored 300-year-old church near London Bridge. St Thomas’ Church is located close to nearby food offerings in Borough Market and the 5,802 sq ft new restaurant will be split across basement, ground floor and mezzanine levels. With a strong focus on the appreciation of art, the stylish and relaxed interior will also include curated exhibitions alongside a two Michelin star menu will offer high-end, authentic Cantonese cuisine and dim sum in a contemporary style. The kitchen will be headed up by Daren Liew, former executive sous chef at the Hakkasan Group, bringing with him decades of experience in Cantonese cuisine. Founded by Alan Lo, Paulo Pong and Yenn Wong, the new concept restaurant set to open this autumn will be the brand’s first site outside of Hong Kong. Shelley Sandzer acted for St Thomas’s Church LLP.
PW reports that Chinese firm Cheung Kei Group is set to make its debut UK buy with the £410m acquisition of 20 Canada Square in Canary Wharf.The Shenzhen-based group, which is headed up by Hong Kong billionaire Chen Hongtian, has agreed a deal with Brookfield to buy the BP-let building for a price that reflects a net initial yield of 5.35%. The 556,000 sq ft office building, which is predominantly let to BP and McGraw Hill International – which both occupy around 243,000 sq ft in the building – was put up for sale through JLL in March. The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed building was developed by Canary Wharf Group in 2003 and was acquired by Canadian investor Brookfield for £326.4m in 2005.
EG reports that a high court judge has ruled in favor of Delancey in an ongoing dispute over the Ram Brewert site in Wandsworth. According to the ruling, Delancey should have been paid £3.7m by Chinese developer Greenland as the final payment in the £135.7m sale of the site, which related to an overage payment dependent on Delancey enchancing permission within 10 months of sale.
PW reports that British Land has let three floors at 4 Kingdom Street in Paddington Central to software company Finastra, leaving the office space 89% let or under offer. Finastra has signed a ten year lease to occupy the first, second and third floors at 4 Kingdom Street totalling 42,400 sq ft. The company, formed in 2017 by the combination of Misys and D+H, develops software for financial institutions.The announcement follows the formal launch of 4 Kingdom Street on 28 June after it reached practical completion in April 2017. Providing 147,000 sq ft across nine floors, it is the first building to be developed by British Land at Paddington Central. British Land acquired part of the Paddington Central office campus for £470m in 2013 and completed the purchase of One Sheldon Square for £210m in 2015. Since then, the company has invested nearly £100m in transforming of the public realm and the construction of 4 Kingdom Street.
PW reports that Thor Equities is in talks to buy 100 New Oxford Street in London’s West End for around £175m. The New York-based firm is close to agreeing a deal with Tishman Speyer to acquire the 105,000 sq ft building. The building is multi-let to office tenants including WME Entertainment, Space Ape and property developer Stanhope and has an average office rent of around £65/sq ft. The retail space is let to tenants including Shake Shack, Joe & The Juice and All Bar One. Thor’s London portfolio also includes 151 Wardour Street, 145 Oxford Street, 105-109 Oxford Street and Bond Street House at 14 Clifford Street, as well as the Burlington Arcade.