A weekly round up of the latest property news from the Central London Boroughs
City of London
PW reports that Legal & General has sold a City of London office building to a private Hong Kong investor for around £140m, well ahead of its asking price, in a deal that shows prime freehold offices are still attracting keen yields. The institutional investor has agreed a deal to sell 99 Gresham Street at a yield thought to be around 4.25%, having put the building on the market for £129.3m at a yield of 4.5% in September.
PW reports that Swiss asset management firm GAM has taken a 15-year lease on 42,300 sq ft with Mitsubishi Estate at 8 Finsbury Circus. GAM has taken the entirety of the first and second floors and part of the ground floor, taking the building to 90% let. GAM has taken the entirety of the first and second floors and part of the ground floor, taking the building to 90% let. Other occupiers at the scheme include Rathbones and CRA International. A restaurant, café and patisserie on the ground and lower ground floors is operated by Wright & Bell. CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield advised Mitsubishi Estate. Knight Frank advised GAM.
PW reports that high-tech healthy eating restaurant Vita Mojo has signed for a new headquarters in the City of London. It has taken a 3,500 sq ft unit store with offices and a training facility at 46 Gresham Street, on a 20-year lease for £125,000 per year. The store is due to open in January 2018. Vita Mojo’s concept involves using software to combine the know-how of a nutritionist and a chef. Customers can adjust the quantities of ingredients in any meal based on their height, weightor dietary requirements, using a bespoke food calculator. Colliers International acted for Vita Mojo on the deal.
EG reports that TH Real Estate has abandoned immediate plans to seek an investment partner for its 900,000 sq ft redevelopment of Leadenhall Triangle, EC3, and intends to start demolition in January. Cushman & Wakefield was instructed to find a partner for the 2.5-acre site, which has planning consent for an of office- led scheme known as “Gotham City”, at the start of the year. The opportunity attracted interest from investors including Cheesegrater owner CC Land and Chinese of office developer Soho China.
EG Credit Suisse has placed Skanska’s Monument Building, EC3, under offer for around £120m – a net initial yield of circa 5%. The global investment bank is buying the long leasehold of the 94,000 sq ft office scheme, which Skanska developed and completed in 2016. The 10-storey building is let to occupiers including M7, TwentyFour Asset Management and Booking.com. Savills advised Skanska.
PW reports that flexible workspace provider WeWork has taken a 186,000 sq ft pre-let at The Stage in Shoreditch. The deal will see WeWork occupy five floors in The Hewett building and 13 floors in The Bard building, both on a 25-year lease. The transaction means that all of the office space at The Stage, which will complete in 2020, has now been leased. The £750m Stage scheme is being developed by a consortium led by Cain International. The other joint venture partners are Galliard Homes, McCourt, Vanke, Investec and The Estate Office Shoreditch. It will comprise more than 200,000 sq ft of office space, 400 homes, 33,000 sq ft of retail, a public park and a visitor centre preserving the archaeological remains of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre.
Hammersmith & Fulham
PW reports that residents at Capital & Counties’ (CapCo) controversial Earls Court development site are claiming victory over the developer today as the local council moved to retake control of the two housing estates at the heart of the scheme.
Westminster. Steve Cowan, the leader of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, has revealed the council is planning to wrestle back control of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates, which have 760 homes and 2,000 residents, once a new masterplan from CapCo has been approved. The masterplan is expected to result in a revision of CapCo’s plans for the site, which had originally envisaged a 10.1m sq ft Terry Farrell-designed development including 7,500 homes, offices, hotels, work space, education, cultural and community facilities, as well as a new five-acre park.
PW reports that WeWork has signed for 42,000 sq ft of space at WELPUT’s North West House scheme in London’s West End. The co-working giant has signed a 20-year lease for the entire office building at 119-127 Marylebone Road. WELPUT was advised by Strutt & Parker and WeWork by James Andrew International. Schroder Real Estate manages the WELPUT fund.
PW reports that JLL and Hanover Green have been appointed as letting agents on the 250,000 sq ft retail element of the Mercers’ Livery Company’s Covent Garden estate in London. They will work alongside Knight Frank, which leads the strategic asset management of the estate, to help shape the area around the Covent Garden Piazza. The Mercers’ Livery Company’s Covent Garden portfolio spans six blocks on the north side of Long Acre, comprising shops, cultural spaces, offices and residential flats. Together, the retail and commercial elements of the estate total 1m sq ft.
PW reports that plans to pedestrianise large parts of Oxford Street as early as next year were unveiled today by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Under the plans, the stretch of Oxford Street between Orchard Street and Oxford Circus would be made traffic free by December 2018 to coincide with the launch of Elizabeth Line services. All east-west traffic would be stopped but north-south traffic cutting through Oxford Street would be maintained. Other proposals include the creation of an 800m-long work of public art on the road and new taxi ranks close to Oxford Street.