A weekly round up of the latest property news from the central London Boroughs.
EG reports that GMG Real Estate and U Developments has got the go-ahead for their mixed-use hotel and offices development in Clerkenwell. The 20,000 sq. ft, 146-bedroom, eight-story development situated in EC1 on Vine Hill and Eyre Street was unanimously approved by Camden Council. The development is scheduled to begin construction by the end of the year, and is expected to complete in spring 2021.
BBC reports that last Friday Mayor Sadiq Khan outlined new plans to control rents in the capital. Calling for new powers, Khan argues that rent controls are essential to “fundamentally rebalance London’s private rented sector” to make it “fit for purpose”. These controversial plans are meeting with some considerable opposition from the business community. The Institute for Fiscal Studies finds that rent controls can have short term benefits for tenants but in the longer term have adverse effects on the quality of rented accommodation and stifles investment in development which limits the supply of new housing stock. Mr Khan’s proposal recommends the creation of the London Private Rents Commission to “design and implement an effective system of rent control”. However, the Mayor has no statutory powers over the private rented sector so this is also a further call for more powers to be devolved to City Hall.
City of London
EG reports that BT has sold its 300,000 sq. ft global headquarters in the City of London to Orion Capital Managers for a reported £209.55 million. The deal includes an immediate leaseback agreement for the premises of 30 months. The private equity firm is understood to have beaten off rival bidders believed to include Brookfield, Henderson Park with CO-RE, Hong Kong firm and K&K and Tishman Speyer.
City of Westminster
As reported in EG the pension fund Diageo is to offload a prime Covent Garden development from their portfolio. It is understood that Savills has been appointed to sell the long leasehold for the site. The building which sits just off Drury Lane has combined the historic façade with70,000 sq. ft of office space and 20,000 sq. ft of retail space as designed by architects Barr Gazetas.
Hammersmith & Fulham
ONLONDON reports that Sadiq Khan backs the Hammersmith and Fulham CPO strategy giving boost to the regeneration of Earls Court.Sadiq Khan has expressed support for Hammersmith & Fulham Council exploring using compulsory purchase powers to take ownership of a key site within the stalled Earls Court regeneration area. The Major went on to criticise the current developers of the site saying he has, “no confidence” in Capital and Counties to “managing a development of this scale”, and that a CPO “could be avoided if CAPCO sells its interests a party capable of developing the site”.
Kensington and Chelsea
The Evening Standard reports that councils may have control of some of their roads taken from them and given to city hall if they block the Mayor’s plans to make the capitals roads safer and greener. The plans focus around creating modern and safer pedestrian crossings and new cycle-super-highways that segregate cyclists from motor traffic. This tug of war began after Conservative controlled Kensington and Chelsea council last month withdrew its support for a £42 million cycleway between Wood Lane and Notting Hill after the public consultation found that hundreds of residents objected to the scheme.
ONLONDON reports that London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander says the halting of the Rotherhithe-Canary Bridge plans is a demonstration of “Good governance”. The new foot and cycle bridge in the east of London was one of the flagship proposals in Mayor Sadiq Khan’s 2016 manifesto. However, last week Alexander told the London Assembly transport committee that costs had reached unrealistic levels rumoured to be around £500 million.