Weekly news from the central London boroughs

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

City of London 

PW reports that Mitsubishi Estate and Stanhope have submitted revised plans for a 50-storey office tower at 150 Leadenhall in the City of London. Designed by Wilkinson Eyre, the new proposal is based on a scheme that received planning permission in 2015 but with an increase of 10 storeys and 120,000 sq ft of office space. Plans include a rooftop pavilion at level 50, with public access to a viewing gallery from a ground floor entrance. Shops, cafes and restaurants will be located on the ground and first floors. The lower ground and basement levels will house cycle storage and shower facilities.

PW reports that Dominvs Group has secured planning permission for an 82,500 sq ft hotel on Ludgate Hill, close to St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The hotel will offer bedrooms across six floors, with some providing views of the cathedral, alongside a restaurant and spa. An existing ground floor retail unit will be retained. Located within the St Paul’s Cathedral conservation area, the building has been designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent standard. The plans involve demolishing Creed Court, an office building which currently occupies the site, and the construction of a seven-storey building with three basement levels.

PW reports that Viridis Real Estate has put 67 Lombard Street up for sale for £130m as the market shows further signs of recovery and yields on prime offices in the City market return to pre-Brexit vote levels. The boutique property investment and development company has appointed Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE to “quietly market” the 90,373 sq ft office building to selected investors, according to a source familiar with the sale. The £130m asking price would represent a yield of 4% and the building has a weighted average unexpired lease term of 10 years. Most of the building is occupied by US insurance giant Arthur J Gallagher, which took 53,345 sq ft over its lower-ground to fourth floors in 2015.


PW reports that Investec Structured Property Finance has provided a £24m senior debt facility to back the development of a residential scheme in north London. The loan has been issued to Church Walk House Property Developments, a joint venture between Savills Prime London Residential Development Fund II and Epsilon Real Estate Partners. Work is expected to start in July on the Church Walk scheme, which comprises 31 apartments and four townhouses with parking and gardens. The Finchley Road site has already been acquired and the Investec loan will be used to finance the development phase of the scheme.

Hammersmith & Fulham 

PW reports that Berkeley’s St James is planning to expand its huge White City scheme after acquiring an office campus from Imperial College London. It has agreed terms to acquire Centre House buildings on Wood Lane, which are located adjacent to its current development site, in a deal that could see the buildings make way for at least 500 residential units. Centre House, also known as the Ugli Campus, comprises 60,000 sq ft across four blocks and is let to TCN and JP Creative, which sub-let space to around 50 small start-up and creative businesses. The asset has previously been valued at around £14.5m. St James is progressing its plans to develop almost 1,500 homes at the 10-acre St James White City scheme, which currently has a gross development value of more than £1.2bn. The project is being delivered in five phases and could take up to 12 years to complete. The housebuilder acquired the site from Marks & Spencer, which had used it for warehousing and training purposes, for £100m in 2013.


EG reports that Islington Council has approved CIT’s plans for a 12-storey extension to the 16-storey Finsbury Tower, EC1, close to Old Street roundabout. The extension will add 136,562 sq ft of office space to the tower. Horden Cherry Lee is the architect; DP9 is planning advisor. 


EG reports that HB Reavis has completed its purchase of Elizabeth House, South Bank. The site at One Waterloo, SE1 has been granted planning consent for 945,000 sq ft development. The acquisition adds a fourth development to its London portfolio. Elizabeth House has planning permission for two new buildings, of 29 and 10 storeys, comprising 753,000 sq ft of commercial floorspace, 142 homes and public space totalling 192,000 sq ft. 

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

PW reports that The Cadogan Estate has signed up wellness and beauty brand Neom Organics for its first central London store on the King’s Road. The brand, which was founded by a former editor of Glamour magazine in 2005, will open its new flagship in an 818 sq ft unit at 186a King’s Road. Neom Organics has signed a four-year lease for the unit, paying a rent of £110,000 a year. A four-month rent free period was agreed as part of the deal.

PW reports that UK real estate entrepreneur Johnny Sandelson has acquired a three-acre site at King’s Gardens in Kensington from Jesuits in Britain.Sandelson has bought the site unconditionally with the aim of securing planning permission for a mixed use development. The site, close to three acres in size, is hidden behind the doors of Heythrop College on Kensington Square and comprises six buildings and sizeable private gardens that offer major scope for development. Heythrop College has been on the square since 1993 and is used to educate those preparing for ordination for the priesthood. 

Tower Hamlets 

PW reports that Blackstone has put a £435m for-sale sign over its St Katharine Docks scheme near Tower Bridge, London. The private equity giant has instructed CBRE to sell the six-building campus, which totals 500,000 sq ft. Blackstone has realigned the marina campus to appeal to tech and creative businesses and has secured a string of lettings in the last 12 months. At the back end of last year, it let 55,800 sq ft to WeWork at the refurbished 215,000 sq ft International House building, which followed a 16,000 sq ft letting to IT training provider QA in October.


EG reports that the building housing Victoria Beckham’s flagship Mayfair store is for sale for offers in excess for £40m – a 3.9% yield. Savills has been instructed to sell the freehold at 36 Dover Street, W1, by a private investor. It was redeveloped in 2014 to provide 14,648 sq ft of commercial space, providing an annual rental income of £1.4m. It is fully let to office tenants, paying an average of £90 per sq ft. 

PW reports that Hong Kong-based investor Chinese Estates has bought an office building at 11-12 St James’s Square in London for £175m, in a deal reflecting a net initial yield of 4.45%. The 80,000 sq ft building was sold by Savills Investment Management on behalf of the Employees Provident Fund in Malaysia. 11/12 St James’s Square is multi-let to several tenants including Blackstone and Marble Bar Asset Management. CBRE advised Chinese Estates whilst Savills acted for Savills IM.

PW reports that The Professionals finalist Adam Handling is to open a restaurant on Southampton Street. It will be the second The Frog restaurant after the first debuted in Shoreditch last summer. Handling has taken a 20-year lease on a 2,929 sq ft unit which was previously home to Thai restaurant Manorom Too. The 90-cover venue will span two floors and include an open-plan kitchen and speakeasy-style basement bar.