This new digest has been prepared on behalf of London Property Alliance by Concilio communications consultancy as part of a service agreement to provide information for our members.
Fitzrovia News reports that Camden Council has registered 25 planning applications in Bloomsbury ward, which includes Fitzrovia East, during May 2022. Included in the monthly list are applications for planning and listed building consent for the the Heal’s Building on Tottenham Court Road; listed building consent at 33 Fitzroy Square, 36 Percy Street; alterations to 27 Goodge Street; tables and chairs at 15 Tottenham Street, and 28 Rathbone Place; alterations to the rear of 70 New Oxford Street; and several tree works.To view the applications and make a comment, use the monthly list below and the links to the full application on the council website . There is a limited time to submit comments. If you have trouble with the link not working, use the application reference number and search Camden’s planning website. The monthly list we publish is pulled from the council’s website and is correct at the time of publication.
City of London
Rail Advent reports that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has re-opened the Bank branch of the Northern line. The closure saw a team of 550 construction staff working day and night to complete a brand new Northern line tunnel and passenger concourse. The vast project for Bank Underground station has also seen a new and broader southbound Northern line platform opened with all of the new key features being part of an essential capacity upgrade scheme. Transport for London (TfL) has also finished work on three new passageways in order to improve and quicken movement around the station which will make life much easier for Northern line passengers. A 40% increase in capacity will be created for Bank station once work completes later in 2022 with further improvements yet to come such as step-free access for the Northern line, better access to DLR platforms, two new moving walkways, 12 new escalators alongside two new lifts.
Insurance Journal reports that rise of remote work is to define future of City of London. More than 85% of UK finance workers no longer view the office as their main place of work, highlighting the challenge the industry faces if it tries to persuade bankers to return to pre-pandemic norms. The demand for a new paradigm is clear from a YouGov survey of more than five hundred finance executives from across the UK commissioned by Bloomberg News last month. Just 14% now consider the office their main workplace compared to 42% for the home and 44% for a hybrid arrangement. The rise of remote work is a challenge all white-collar industries are wrestling with but poses a particular conundrum in finance given some critical roles — particularly trading — demand a fully-staffed office. It means plenty of firms, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., have been pushing for staff to return as the pandemic eases.
Proactive reports that the City of London’s diary is packed for the coming week, with many FTSE 100 giants and FTE 250 favourites coming to market with results or trading updates, including Greggs, Royal Mail, Vodafone, Aviva, Imperial Brands and easyJet. With the cost of living crisis on everyone’s minds, updates from the Office for National Statistics on wages and inflation will be keenly watched. Going into its final results, Ryanair Holdings PLC (LSE:RYA) has already announced full-year traffic levels did not recover as much as it had predicted, only to around 76% of the previous year’s levels. Full-year passenger traffic was just over 97mln at last count, compared to pre-Covid levels of 149mln and the 27.5mln seen in the first year of the pandemic. As a result it warned that losses would be larger than expected at €350mln-€400mln for the year to end-March, compared to the €250mln-€450mln guidance it gave in December and €100mln-€200mln forecast before that. As well as the final confirmation of the size of the loss, management’s view of the outlook will be also be key. Elsewhere, the big question is will journalists be wheeling out the ever-popular “Greggs on a roll” headline or will there be something less savoury from the Geordie bakers.
CRE reports that GPE buys City of London building for £30m. Great Portland Estates(GPE) has announced the off-market acquisition of the long leasehold interest at 6/10 St Andrew Street for £30 million (£650 per sq ft). The 46,200 sq ft building is currently vacant, and benefits from planning permission for a two-storey extension. The building is located within five minutes walking distance of Chancery Lane and Farringdon stations and is only 450 metres from the new Farringdon Elizabeth Line. GPE said it has excellent fundamentals and requires substantial refurbishment to bring it in line with its net zero carbon commitment. It will provide approximately 48,000 sq ft over lower ground and eight upper floors, with two private terraces as well as a communal roof terrace and winter garden. St Andrew Street will deliver best-in-class Fully Managed office space in a core target location, with outstanding amenity space at ground floor and roof top levels.
Hackney Citizen reports that Voters will be going to the polls again after the resignation of a newly-elected Labour councillor. Tom Dewey became a councillor for De Beauvoir ward earlier this month after years of campaigning for Labour in Hackney. His resignation the week before the first full council meeting of the new council term means 6,634 De Beauvoir voters will have the chance to go to the polls again in a by-election. Mr Dewey previously worked for Hackney Council as an adviser working with the Cabinet and Mayor and also served as election agent for Hackney South and Shoreditch MP, Meg Hillier. His “professional expertise is in housing and planning”, according to Hackney Labour party’s website: “he wants to bring new ideas to help build the high-quality affordable homes we need for all our residents and improve the council homes which need investment, continue to fight for safe and beautiful streets which work for people, and fight for better standards for those in the private rented sector.”
Hackney Gazette reports that flats under construction in Hackney Wick are to be knocked down and rebuilt a development underway in Hackney Wick is set to be demolished and rebuilt after a possible “structural issue” was found. The Factory in Monier Road, near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is set to contain 148 flats when complete. Taylor Wimpey had started work on the building, which received planning permission in 2019, but this stopped last year. A spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Following the discovery of a potential structural issue, identified as part of a routine check during the early stages of construction at our development in Monier Road, Hackney Wick, we have taken the decision to demolish the existing concrete structures and rebuild. “Health and safety is our top priority and this decision has been carefully and thoroughly considered after close consultation with independent structural engineers.
Hammersmith & Fulham
City A.M. reports that Hammersmith: Picton snaps up office and retail space for £13.7m as it bets on Olympia redevelopment. Real estate investment trust Picton has completed a freehold takeover of a mixed-use space in Hammersmith for £13.7m. Charlotte Terrace, on Hammersmith Road, includes four adjoining buildings, with a total of 28,500 sq ft of office space and 4,400q ft of retail space. The office space was redeveloped in 1990 behind a Grade II listed period façade, which means there are no business rates payable on void units. Michael Morriss, Picton chief executive, said the area was set to be “significantly enhanced” over the next few years after the completion of a £1bn redevelopment of Olympia. Plans for the area include the creation of a new creative district, featuring a new theatre and entertainment venue. “We have taken advantage of our diversified approach to invest in a mixed-use asset where we believe we can unlock significant income and value with our occupier focused asset management approach,” Morris added.
H&F council reports that H&F Leader Cllr Stephen Cowan announces new Mayor, Cabinet and other roles to make borough stronger, safer and kinder. The Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham, Cllr Stephen Cowan, announced today (18 May) nominations for the new Mayor, Cabinet team and other roles following the local elections on 5 May. These nominations will be considered at the Annual General Meeting of H&F Council on 25 May. Commenting on the appointments, Cllr Stephen Cowan said: “Our residents sent us here with a clear mandate to be on their side as we all face some of the biggest challenges in generations. “Tackling the cost-of-living crisis, cracking down on crime, cleaning our filthy air, improving council homes, and bringing new career and start-up opportunities are just some of the priorities at the heart of our programme. I’m grateful to have been able to appoint a team of hard-working talented councillors into these positions.
Kensington & Chelsea
RBKC council reports that after more than 4,400 votes were cast by North Kensington residents earlier this year, 40 local community projects have now been allocated more than £1.2 million as part of the Grenfell Projects Fund 2 (GPF2). Since then, the Grenfell Community Team has been working with project organisers to finalise grant agreements and prepare projects to launch. It has also been working with the Resident-led Panel to create evaluation processes that will measure the impact of the GPF2. We now have a selection of free GPF2 community projects that will be launching over the next couple of months, including the North Kensington Youth and Community Festival. The festival, which has been organised by the Youth Action Alliance, is taking place on Saturday 25 June from 12 to 6pm at the Westway Sports and Fitness Centre. It will include free sports tournaments, live music, arts and crafts and a talent show. Alessana Inèz Hall from Youth Action Alliance said: “We’re very excited to be able to host the North Kensington Youth and Community Festival again with the help of the Grenfell Projects Fund 2. The money has enabled us to make the festival even bigger and extra special this year, with more activities on offer to mark the five-year anniversary of Grenfell.
Property Week reports that Sirius Real Estate has agreed the sale of a business park in Camberwell, London, for £16m. The deal represents a net initial yield of 2%. The asset formed part of the portfolio Sirius acquired in November 2021 with its purchase of BizSpace, the provider of regional light industrial, workshop, studio and out of town office units across the UK. The multi-tenanted business park, which comprises 34,700 sq ft of industrial and office space, is 91% occupied. The sale is expected to complete this July. Andrew Coombs, chief executive of Sirius Real Estate, said: “This disposal is further proof of the latent value in the BizSpace portfolio we acquired late last year, the price being significantly ahead of last September’s valuation on which our purchase was based, and the attractive sale follows our recent announcement that we had since improved like-for-like rental income across the portfolio by 7.5%.
Property Week reports that Fintech company Spendesk has taken 6,845 sq ft of offices on 20-22 Commercial Street in Spitalfields, east London. Building owner Aitch Group has let the penthouse floors at East One to the spend-management software company in the Victorian warehouse building after signing a five-year lease at a rent of £62/sq ft. Marcus Godfrey from BELCOR said: “This deal is further confirmation that best-in-class space in the City Fringe is attracting top occupiers like Spendesk.” The penthouse duplex has open-place workspace across both floors, several partitioned meeting rooms and a private roof terrace, while the building has a large ground-floor reception area, two passenger lifts, showers and cycle storage. Kitt acted for Spendesk. Aitch Group was advised by BELCOR.
Property Week reports that Vistry Partnerships has secured a £128m contract from LGIM Real Assets (Legal & General) to construct 480 new homes on a former Homebase site in Wandsworth, south-west London. Constructed over five new buildings and designed by architect firm Hawkins Brown, the development will also create more than 15,000 sq ft of mixed-use space, with retail, office and community uses. The Homebase site extends the platform of work between Vistry Partnerships and Legal & General and is the third English scheme delivered by Vistry for Legal & General. Construction has started on site and is scheduled for completion in Spring 2024. The proposals have been designed to support Legal & General’s New Acres, Wandsworth masterplan and the sites comprise one of Legal & General’s five BTR schemes in London that will deliver more than 1,000 homes. Vistry Partnerships chief executive Stephen Teagle said: “This significant, mixed-use project will play an important role in providing additional housing choice for the local community. The build-to-rent sector has a key role to play in combatting the nation’s housing crisis, particularly in larger towns and cities, and Legal & General’s Wandsworth combined site will make a major contribution.
Half of all £1m+ UK property sales are in London with not Chelsea but Wandsworth leading the pack. Despite a more lethargic pandemic property market performance, London remains by far the most prestigious pocket of the property market across England and Wales, accounting for almost half of all homes sold at £1m or above. With an average sold price of £1.4m and a total of £17.6bn worth of property sold at or above this price threshold, London also leads the way in terms of £1m+ property market values. Wandsworth currently ranks as London’s hotspot for £1m+ property transactions, having seen the largest proportion of homes sold at or above this price threshold in the last 12 months, according to research by debt advisory specialists Henry Dannell, shared with City A.M. today. The firm analysed sold price records from the Land Registry over the last year for primary residential property sales at or over £1m across England and Wales.
Property Week reports that Landsec has pre-let 40,000 sq ft of office space at n2 in London’s Victoria district to investment firm Qube Research & Technologies (QRT). The deal sees QRT triple its UK footprint by upsizing from its current 12,000 sq ft office in Nova South to take four floors across n2. The building is the penultimate phase of the Nova masterplan, which has transformed Victoria into a leading destination for global businesses. Once complete, n2 will create 161,000 sq ft of office space across 17 floors. This latest agreement comes soon after the announcement that Landsec signed 200,000 sq ft of office deals across London between September 2021 – February 2022. Oliver Knight, head of offices at Landsec, said: “The strength of our portfolio across central London means that we’re able to provide different types of space for every stage in a business’ journey, working in partnership to meet their evolving needs for the future of work no matter their shape nor size.
Property Week reports that Shaftesbury has bought a 200-year ungeared leasehold of retail space in Soho for £27.5m, paving the way for the creation of 11 new units. The real estate investment trust has acquired the lower floors of 92-104 Berwick Street in Soho from the administrator of Berwick Street Securities. The asset comprises 15,600 sq ft of retail space and 3,600 sq ft of restaurant accommodation, all of which will be available from autumn 2022. Shaftesbury, which owns a 16-acre portfolio in London’s West End, said it plans on creating 11 new units at the site, installing new shop fronts to create opportunities for new retailers and hospitality companies. Simon Quayle, executive director of Shaftesbury, said: “We have always considered ownership of this frontage of over 250 ft, at the busy southern end of Berwick Street, an important part of our long-term strategy for this popular street. “This acquisition will take our ownership to over 50% of active frontages on Berwick Street. With the recovery of the West End from the extended period of pandemic disruption now firmly established, the imminent opening of the Elizabeth Line, and Soho’s special appeal to visitors and workers, we are confident in the letting and long-term growth prospects for this exceptional location.”
City A.M. reports that New London office for Monday.com as 100 additional UK staff hired to conquer Europe. New York-listed work operating system monday.com has opened a new, larger office in the capital as it continues to expand in the UK and globally. As monday.com’s European headquarters, the new office can hold up to 150 people and is located in Fitzrovia, one of the main epicentres of London’s bustling tech scene. This new premises comes soon after the launch of monday.com’s first UK office, which had only opened in November 2021. The company, which allows organisations of to manage work flows, has scaled significantly in the past five months, prompting the move to a bigger space much sooner than initially anticipated: not only did monday.com double its headcount last year, the company is planning to have more than 100 employees in the UK by the end of 2022, and is currently hiring for open roles across IT, consulting, marketing, and partnerships and alliances. The Nasdaq firm has also chosen the London office as the first international location for its training academy, monday U.
Property Week reports that The Ingeus Group has acquired 17 commercial property sites across central and west London and the Midlands for the Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) jobseekers’ scheme. The portfolio spans 153,229 sq ft of commercial property, with an annual rent valued at just under £5.4m. Twelve of the 17 sites acquired are in London, with other sites in Hounslow and Harrow, totalling 13,687 sq ft, as well as 17,933 sq ft across Birmingham, West Bromwich and Dudley. Ingeus, part of international human services organisation APM Group, is one of eight suppliers contracted by the DWP to deliver the Restart Scheme over a three-year period. The company is responsible for the Restart Scheme in central and west London, as well as in Greater Manchester, where it has separately acquired eight separate sites. Ingeus also runs the programme in the West Midlands on behalf of another supplier. The £2.9bn Restart Scheme is part of the government’s Plan for Jobs to support those who have been directly impacted by coronavirus, especially those out of work for longer periods.
The Telegraph reports that renters have flooded back to London and triggered a record jump in the cost of leasing a home in the capital. Almost a third of London homes let so far this year have been rented by tenants moving from outside the city, the highest share ever recorded by Hamptons. The estate agency said many people are choosing city-living for cultural and lifestyle reasons rather than work. Rents in London have surged, jumping by 12.3pc in the year to April – the fastest pace ever recorded by Hamptons – to reach £1,886 a month. It marks a sharp reversal of the pandemic-fuelled exodus which saw large numbers of people flee the capital in search of more space and greener pastures. In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, just 12pc of new tenants in London moved there from outside the capital. Of the tenants who relocated to the city so far this year, more than half came from the home counties. Aneisha Beveridge, of Hamptons, said the trend showed life in the capital was “slowly returning to normal”.
Property Week reports that despite the many delays in delivering Crossrail, property industry experts have claimed that the new line’s hotly-anticipated opening will be a “game-changer for central London occupiers”. The long-awaited Elizabeth Line (as it will be known) is set to open on Tuesday 24 May and the £19bn project is expected to bring benefits across the whole real estate spectrum. “It’s been so delayed that people have almost forgotten about the benefits Crossrail will bring or have dismissed how much of a game-changer it will be for central London occupiers,” said Andrew Barnes, Savills director of central London tenant representation. “Everyone talks about how amazing Farringdon will be, but the markets that will see the biggest and most sudden benefits will be Paddington and Canary Wharf.” Roddy Abram, Knight Frank head of South East and Greater London offices, said the South East market would also benefit from the opening. “It’s going to spike interest along the Thames Valley as town centre locations and as a commuter route into London. We’ve been talking about this for years; it’s largely been priced in, and it is only good for the South East.”
City A.M. reports that the boss of GPE, formerly known as Great Portland Estates, has warned that London’s office leasing rebound could hit a wall as inflation shrinks the appetite for new developments. The capital’s post-pandemic recovery for offices has seen some of the UK’s largest developers – as well as GPE – hail record leasing activity and surging demand. However, chief executive Toby Courtauld said today that “we expect weaker sentiment and cost inflation in the short term, along with further tightening in the planning environment, to impact the appetite for development risk, choking off the supply of new office space, intensifying the already acute shortage as customers continue their flight to quality.” In a statement, Courtauld further cautioned that geopolitical and economic uncertainties will dampen growth in the near term, but that the market is looking rosy for now. “London is substantially busier than this time last year with office workers and shoppers returning, Crossrail is about to open, job vacancies are rising and inward investment into income yielding real estate is up,” he said.
City A.M. reports that the Government has put forward new fire safety regulations, which will see building owners share the level of risk that the design and materials of outer walls have with emergency fire services. It is hoped to give fire brigades an opportunity to adopt the best strategy to tackle potential blazes. However, the Home Office has abandoned a key policy, which means it will not require owners of high rise buildings to prepare evacuation plans, or make arrangements for disabled residents to escape. The fresh regulations outlined today, which form part of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry’s first phase, will become law on 8 July, subject to parliamentary approval. Of the 15 recommendations given to Government following the Grenfell fire tragedy in 2017, nine are due to be implemented, the Government confirmed in an update on the inquiry on Wednesday. Other regulations, which apply to England only, require managers of high-rise buildings to provide local fire services with up-to-date electronic and hard copy floor plans and report any faulty lifts which cannot be fixed within 24 hours.