GPE to start trio of projects despite London caution

Aaron Morby 6 years ago
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London developer Great Portland Estate is pressing ahead with three projects this year, each next to Crossrail stations.

Demolition work underway to extend Cityside House located between Aldgate and Whitechapel Crossrail station
Demolition work underway to extend Cityside House located between Aldgate and Whitechapel Crossrail station

But the London developer struck a cautious note about further development prospects amid uncertainty about Brexit and an ongoing stand off between vendor pricing for lower grade buildings and buyers.

GPE said lower quality, short-let buildings, often in need of redevelopment were not being adequately discounted by prospective vendors for the additional level of associated risk meaning prospects remained weak for new London redevelopment schemes.

The developer said it would now be concentrating on upgrading its existing stock while proceeding with a trio of well targeted new build sites.

These three projects will cost £240m and include Hanover Square above Bond Street Crossrail station, Oxford House at 76 Oxford Street and now Cityside House, located between Aldgate and Whitechapel Crossrail station.

At Cityside, J F Hunt has commenced demolition and GPE has committed to transform the existing building into 74,700 sq ft of Grade A office and retail space by the end of 2019.

At Oxford House, GPE has just committed to a 116,000 sq ft new build office and retail space, a 30% increase (27,000 sq ft) on the refurbished building.

Demolition of the existing building is expected to commence imminently with construction of the new building expected to start in March 2019 and completion is targeted for Q3 2021.

At Hanover Square, GPE has planning permission for a 221,300 sq ft mixed-use development comprising 167,200 sq ft of offices, 41,900 sq ft of retail and restaurant space and 12,200 sq ft of residential apartments.

It has started some works on parts of the site but is aiming to repurchase the land from Crossrail over the summer under the terms of existing agreements.

Beyond these three schemes, the developer said it had a medium-term pipeline of 13 uncommitted schemes totalling 1.3 million sq ft.

 These include New City Court, SE1 in the London Bridge Quarter, where it hopes to enlarge the existing 98,000 sq ft building, and Mount Royal at the western end of Oxford Street, where Make Architects is drawing up early plans to redevelop this two-acre site into a retail-led development scheme.

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