As well as the sale of offices and retail space at 50 Finsbury Square London for £190m, we highlight UK commercial property deals in London, Birmingham and Glasgow, plus acquisitions in France and the Netherlands.
Contracts exchanged on 50 Finsbury Square for £190m
Location and details: Great Portland Estates plc (GPE) has exchanged contracts on the sale of the freehold of 50 Finsbury Square, EC2. The building, which was originally designed by Fosters & Partners, is undergoing a comprehensive refurbishment with practical completion scheduled for Q4 2022. GPE will retain responsibility for delivering the development with the completion of the sale expected in Q1 2023 following practical completion and commencement of the leases of the office and retail space. When complete, the building will be BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and GPE’s first Net Zero Carbon development. The building will provide c.121,800 sq ft of offices arranged over lower ground, ground and seven upper floors together with a terrace on the 6th floor and a further pavilion and extensive roof terrace on the 8th floor overlooking Finsbury Square. The retail element of the property consists of four units fronting Finsbury Pavement (7,400 sq ft). The entirety of the office space has been pre-let to telecommunications company Inmarsat Global Limited
Sector: Offices and retail
Buyer: A wholly owned subsidiary of Wirtgen Invest Holding GmbH, a private German family office.
Key quote: Chief Executive, Tom Courtauld, says, “In 50 Finsbury Square, we have created an exceptional home for Inmarsat, not least given the sustainability credentials our refurbishment will deliver. The sale is consistent with our strategy of recycling capital out of mature assets to be utilised in our many other development opportunities.”
Castle Club sells for €23m
Location and details: The restored Grade II-listed Castle Club in Fulham, London, UK, has been sold by real estate investment, development and asset management company Thackeray Group for €23m (£20m). Thackeray is currently restoring the historic structure and adding a new three-storey modern extension at the rear of the site to provide a 32-bed care home for KYN, designed by Darling Associates. Built in 1855 in the Gothic Revival style, the Castle Club is located in Broomhouse Lane, next to the famous Hurlingham Club. The image is from Wikimedia is taken by Edwardx and is reproduced under CreativeCommons.
Buyer: KYN, personalised holistic care provider.
Price: €23m (£20m).
Key quote: Antony Alberti, CEO and co-founder of Thackeray Group, says, “The Castle Club is a beautiful building that had, sadly, become derelict. We have been able to apply our skills at regenerating sites rich in heritage to bring the building back to life, while fully respecting and retaining its historic character and principal architecture. We are thrilled that KYN will operate it as a care home for the local community. The proceeds will be recycled into further acquisitions in the fourth quarter. We have a target to deploy £100m before the end of the year.”
Warehouses bought in France and the Netherlands
Location and details: abrdn European Logistics Income plc is acquiring two logistics warehouses, in Dijon, France, and Horst, the Netherlands. The 5,069 sqm Dijon property on a 7,000 sqm plot is Gevrey-Chambertin, near Dijon. The freehold asset has been acquired for €9.3 million, reflecting a net initial yield of 4.2%. The Horst property, which totals around 6,900 sqm, including office space, and has been acquired for €12.1 million as part of a sale and leaseback deal with Limax, a producer, packager and distributor of soft fruits and mushrooms. It lies between Venlo and Venray. The freehold property covers a 40,500 sqm plot. It features rooftop solar panels which enhance the portfolio’s sustainability credentials, in line with the company’s strategy.
Price: €21.4 million.
Key quote: Fund Manager Evert Castelein says, “These assets fit with our strict investment criteria, being excellently located with direct access to major routes and standing on large plots allowing for future expansion. The portfolio now totals 28 properties across five countries, adding further diversity to our strategy. Longer term leases with CPI indexation and our quality diversified asset base across Continental Europe continues to underpin the Company’s strategy and should deliver shareholder value with our increasing tilt towards urban locations close to major population centres.”
Five Birmingham buildings bought for £21 million
Location and details: A joint venture between London-based Hillview Real Estate and Israeli group Shlomo has bought Edmund Gardens in Edmund Street from DTZ Investors. Edmund Gardens comprises five buildings around a central courtyard totalling 67,510 sq ft. This mixed-use portfolio consists of 80% multi-let offices, with additional retail, food and beverage and residential units. Hillview Real Estate, which is investing through its £300m Hillview Partners Property Fund III, plans to improve the office, retail and residential offering through active asset management and a programme of capital expenditure. The image taken by andrewrabbott is from Wikimedia and is reproduced under CreativeCommons.
Seller: DTZ Investors
Price: £21 million
Key quote: Nadav Livni, fund manager of Hillview Real Estate, says, “The building is very well located in the heart of Birmingham’s financial district, is under-rented and provides a good blend of income with the opportunity to increase rents by refurbishing any space vacated by tenants and enhancing the offering to tenants.”
Glasgow hotel changes hands
Location and details: The former Pocotel hotel in Glasgow city centre has been sold to The Address Collective, which has three hotels in the Republic of Ireland. It is on a corner site at 139-141 West George Street. The six-storey, B-listed building, which has been refurbished recently, has 91 guest bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, and meeting and fitness rooms.
Sector: Hotel and resorts
Seller: From administration
Price: From guide price of £4.5 million
Key quote: Ciara McGettigan, who owns The Address Collective with husband Brian, says, “This purchase demonstrates our appetite to grow The Address Collective brand and we have plans to create a bespoke product that will enhance Glasgow’s hotel offering. The building lends itself to a truly boutique hotel and we look forward to the launch of The Address Hotel Glasgow.”