Landsec looking to start more schemes in 2024

Grant Prior 3 weeks ago

Developer Land Securities is confident next year will see a bounce back in its core markets as its strategy to cope with higher interest rates pays dividends.

Mace has started work on the Timber Square site
Mace has started work on the Timber Square site

Landsec has started the major refurbishment of Thirty High (formerly Portland House) in Victoria and the development of Timber Square in Southwark with a combined completion value of £504m.

And two consented office schemes could start next year at at Liberty of Southwark and Red Lion Court, SE1 worth £585m.

The improved outlook has also seen Landsec set provisional start dates for the first half of next year for its major mixed-used schemes in London and Manchester, with a combined development value approaching £2bn.

Landsec eyes start for Manchester Mayfield’s £400m first phase

Mark Allan, Chief Executive of Landsec, said: “Since early 2022, we have been clear that we expected interest rates to remain higher for longer and that asset values would have to adjust to this new reality, which they have.

“We were decisive in acting on this view by selling £1.4bn of single-let HQ offices, mostly in the City, at prices ahead of today’s values.

“Investment activity remains thin, but we expect this to pick up in 2024, which should start to support values for the best assets.

“We will continue to recycle capital where our ability to add further value is limited, but having been a net seller when prices were higher, we are well-placed to take advantage of opportunities that will no doubt arise as the new higher-for-longer reality is now more widely accepted.”

Allan revealed the business was preparing for work to start at its £1bn Finchley Road scheme in London and £800m Mayfield scheme in Manchester.

£1bn Finchley Road scheme to built on strip site next to existing O2 shopping centre

He said: “We continue to progress the preparation of our two most advanced projects, creating optionality for a potential start on site next year.

“At Mayfield, adjacent to Manchester’s main train station, we secured detailed planning consent for the first 330,000 sq ft of office development across two buildings in September. The expected investment for this is  £180m.

“We continue to work on enhancing our plans and expected returns, so subject to this, we could potentially start this first phase in the first half of 2024.

“At Finchley Road, in zone two London, where we secured a resolution to grant planning consent for our 1,800 homes masterplan in March, we secured vacant possession of an important part of the first phase of this site during the period.

“Subject to further planning and land assembly workstreams, we could potentially start enabling works in the first half of 2024 as well.”

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