A weekly review of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs
City of London
PW reports that online casino firm Product Madness is close to agreeing terms to move into 29,000 sq ft of space at British Land’s Broadgate. The technology hub is set to double the size of its office space and is under offer to take the sixth floor at 1 Finsbury Avenue. Product Madness is the latest in a stream of businesses not previously associated with City of London locations to have taken space at Broadgate. Product Madness is one of three occupiers to put space under offer at Broadgate in recent weeks, with stock broker Peel Hunt and US law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley % McCloy lines up to take one and three floors of 100 Liverpool Street respectively.
Hammersmith & Fulham
EG reports that specialist housing association Women’s Pioneer Housing has selected HUB and Bridges Fund Management to deliver an £80m scheme close to the redeveloped BBC Television Centre in west London. The partners will deliver 80 affordable rented homes for women, a new 43,000 sq ft headquarters for the Women’s Pioneering Housing Group and an additional residential building, which is expected to have at least 300 homes. WPH will retain ownership of the 80 rental homes and the freehold of the 0.54-acre site at 227 Wood Lane, W12. Denise Fowler, the chief executive said: “this scheme will provide much needed housing for a wide range of women, providing security for those who need the flats long term and an spring board for those whose incomes rise as they progress in their careers.”
Kensington & Chelsea
EG reports that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Pension Fund aims to boost investment in property to 20%. From 5%. According to latest accounts, the fund’s assets totalled £1.1bn for the year ending 31stMarch 2018. A spokesperson for Kensington and Chelsea Council said: “these investments are made with a view to the best long term, optimal, risk adjusted performance for the pension fund over the decades ahead, within a diversified portfolio.” Real estate investment is becoming an increasing area of focus for local authorities.
PW reports that Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (SREF) has taken South Bank building Palace House off the market after it failed to find a buyer prepared to pay the asking price. Allsop was instructed to sell the 45,012 sq ft office building last March, shortly after its sole office occupier, Kaplan Estates, had signed a 15-year lease renewal. The building, which is also let to Caffe Nero and generates an annual rent of around £2.6m, has undergone a £10m refurbishment. Schroders is believed to be waiting on Palace House’s upcoming quarterly valuation before deciding what to do with the asset.
EG reports that residents of a luxury development near the Tate Modern gallery have failed in a bid to secure a high court injunction closing part of the museum’s new viewing gallery, which they say has turned their homes into a “public exhibit.” Judge Mr Justice Mann dismissed the claims bought by five residents of multi million pound properties at Neo Bankside, SE1, saying that by living in flats with floor to ceiling windows, they had created a self-induced incentive to gaze.” The 10th floor walkaway viewing gallery, in an extension to Tate Modern, has been open to the public since 2016. It offers panoramic views of London, but also allows people to stare into the adjacent Neo Bankside flats. In his judgement the judge accepted that the behaviour of visitors to the viewing terrace was a material interaction into the privacy of the residents. The judge suggested steps the flat owners could take to reduce the impact, including solar blinds and net curtains.