A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs
City of London
Bdaily news reports that Landsec has acquired 55 Old Broad Street from PGIM Real Estate for £87m. Located close to Liverpool Street station, the 100,000 sq ft 10-storey office-led building wraps around Landsec’s City office tower Dashwood. The building is currently 87 per cent let, with existing tenants including Ecom Agrotrade, GB Railfreight and Barclays. Nick de Mestre, head of investment at Landsec, commented: “55 Old Broad Street is a well-located asset in the heart of London. The development potential of this asset, combined with the potential for Dashwood, offers Landsec the opportunity to deliver a compelling, best-in-class destination over the medium term.”
Property Week reports that Landsec has sold the mixed-use New Ludgate scheme next to the Old Bailey in the City of London to Singapore-based real estate developer, Sun Venture for £552m. The scheme, which includes 1 and 2 New Ludgate, provides a combined 389,615 sq ft of office and retail accommodation developed by Landsec in 2015. 1 New Ludgate comprises 183,305 sq ft of office and retail accommodation and is multi-let to several occupiers, including Ropes & Gray International LLP and Commonwealth Bank of Australia. 2 New Ludgate comprises 206,310 sq ft of office and retail accommodation, with the offices let entirely to Mizuho Bank.
Property Week reports that incoming planning applications in the City of London are now exceeding pre-pandemic levels. According to the City of London Corporation, there were more planning applications submitted in November this year than in the same month last year. Since the lockdown in March, the authority has received a steadily increasing number of applications, with a slight easing off over summer.
Bdaily news reports that workspace solutions specialist Spacemade has been instructed by Citidwell to develop a new 7,000 sq ft coworking space in Mentmore Terrace in London Fields. Spacemade will take control of an existing coworking space, adding it to their growing network of spaces. The firm will work with Citidwell to implement a new strategy, business plan and financial model for the building, including space and brand creation and full operational execution once it launches.
Property Funds World reports that JLL has advised Ghelamco Group on the £175m financing for the acquisition and development of 225 City Road in Shoreditch, a freehold development site which has consent to deliver a Grade-A office led mixed-use scheme designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. The mixed-use scheme will encompass circa 150,000 sw ft of Grade-A office space, 100 residential apartments and circa 7,500 sq ft of retail space.
Hammersmith and Fulham
My London reports that the Hammersmith Bridge Task Force has confirmed that work to stabilise the bridge’s cracked pedestals has begun. The announcement came after Hammersmith and Fulham Council unveiled a new proposal to build a “double decker” bridge that could be built within its existing structure and while repairs take place. After the Task Force met on November 27, its chair, Baroness Vere, a transport minister, tweeted: “Pleased to confirm at today’s #HammersmithBridge Task Force meeting that contractors will be working on-site from next week on immediate stabilisation work. Positive discussions also around new proposals on bridge’s repair.” A further meeting on the temporary bridge proposals and funding is due to take place shortly.
Construction Enquirer reports that The Farringdon Elizabeth line station has become the first on the central London section of the Crossrail to complete construction. Crossrail confirmed on Monday that the station is substantially complete and is now 12 weeks away from being ready for handover to Transport for London (TfL). Work at Farringdon will now focus on the extensive testing and commissioning of systems ahead of the Elizabeth line opening. Paddington is expected to be the next station where construction activity will complete and will then be followed by a number of the central London station sites over the coming months.
Architects Journal reports that Carmody Groarke has been appointed to redevelop a major office building in Brixton. Carmody Groarke will now draw up designs for a new building on the site of the 11-storey Blue Star House, opposite the Brixton Academy. Derwent bought the office block and site in January for £38.1m – at the time releasing a statement saying that there is ‘scope to redevelop the site with a significantly larger scheme.’ The developer is expected to gain vacant possession of the building in 2025.
Southwark News reports that the route for the Bakerloo Line extension has been given protected status, preventing it from being built on by conflicting developments. The news comes after a consultation into the proposed extension of the tube route into Lewisham via the Old Kent Road revealed overwhelming public support. The move would see two new stations created on the Old Kent Road – which appear likely to be called ‘Burgess Park’ and ‘Old Kent Road’ respectively. Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP, Neil Coyle, said the confirmed route was great news for the campaign to ‘back the bakerloo’ and would help to deliver greater transport accessibility for Londoners and a national economic boost in jobs and housebuilding. The proposals had earlier this year suffered a setback after TfL declined to ask the Government to fund the multi-billion pound project in the near future.
Bdaily reports that marketing and communications agency, Four, is set to become the first tenant of the newly developed building The Hickman in Whitechapel. Four has taken 17,700 sq ft of office space over the top three floors of the seven-floor building, as well as an additional 5,000 sq ft of outside terrace space. Four’s new headquarters will feature bookable desks, co-working areas and project rooms, flexible meeting and seminar rooms, an edit suite and a social area called The Fourum – complete with its own bar, along with outside space for working and socialising. Four is taking 20% less space than they currently have at their London Bridge headquarters in an attempt to start cost savings early in the New Year.
Costar reports that US social media group, Twitter has committed to its Air W1 headquarters by extending its lease and increasing space by around a third to 83,000 sq ft. Twitter moved into Air W1, near Piccadilly Circus in 2013, at which point it occupied the 26,565 sq ft first floor – in 2014 they increased their total floorspace to just over 52,000 sq ft to include the sixth floor. The development by The Crown Estate and Stanhope provides 180,000 sq ft of office space just off Regent Street.
Bdaily reports that property developer Fenton Whelan has agreed a £100 million design and build contract with multinational contractor Ant Yapi to deliver the £500nm GDV Park Modern development. Overlooking Kensington Palace Gardens, Park Modern is a 190,000 sq ft development that will offer 57 one-to-six bedroom ‘luxury’ residences, as well as 30,000 sq ft of commercial space. James Van Den Heule, co-founding director of Fenton Whelan, commented: “Fenton Whelan is delighted that Park Modern is now fully funded, and we are pleased that Ant Yapi are now on board to deliver our vision for this transformative, parkside development.”
The Mayor of London and Robert Jenrick MP (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) have exchanged letters on the draft London Plan. Sadiq Khan issued a letter on the 9th December with his intention to publish the London Plan on 21 December ‘based on our best understanding of your views to date, to ensure we continue to progress in a timely way’. However Robert Jenrick MP replied on Thursday stating that he would be issuing two further Directions that the Mayor would need to respond to. The key new direction related to Policy D9 (tall buildings) which aims ‘to strengthen the policy to ensure such developments are only brought forward in appropriate and clearly defined areas, as determined by the boroughs’.