HB Reavis has exchanged contracts to acquire 20 Farringdon Street, a prime development opportunity in London’s Midtown. This acquisition is HB Reavis’ second in the UK market and follows the successful purchase of 33 Central, its newly rebranded development at 33 King William Street, in the City of London, in November last year.
The site, which currently comprises a vacant nine storey 43,000 sq ft office building, has full planning permission for a brand new 12 storey office building totalling c. 75,000 sq ft. HB Reavis intends to commence demolition of the existing building as soon as possible with full build completion of the new scheme expected by early 2017.
The new building, which is targeting BREEAM Excellent, will incorporate floor-to-ceiling glazing around three sides, providing abundant natural light. The top three floors will be set back to create a series of external terraces overlooking Fleet Place, providing an attractive area of open space.
The acquisition is in line with HB Reavis’ stated strategy to acquire high quality development opportunities in London as it expands into the UK. Its debut London asset, 33 Central is expected to complete in the second half of 2016.
HB Reavis, which has a dedicated London-based team, will now focus on developing its two prime assets whilst continuing to appraise potential further acquisitions, leveraging its considerable expertise honed over 20 years as a leading commercial real estate developer in Central and Eastern Europe, with offices in Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Tomas Jurdak, Director of HB Reavis UK, said: “This exceptional site has recently received planning consent for a new office building in a location that has seen continued high tenant demand and a record low vacancy rate. We firmly believe that the strength of the area will allow us to evolve the existing designs and deliver a truly remarkable building. The scheme, which will benefit from the new Cross rail station in 2018, will provide much needed Grade A office accommodation, and is designed not only to appeal to traditional City occupiers, who may be seeking a new headquarters, but also to tech and creative companies, many of which have recently taken space in the area.”
Radim Rimanek, Board director of HB Reavis Group with responsibility for its UK business, said: “Our acquisition of 33 King William Street represented our entry into the London market, and at that time we stated our intention to seek further acquisitions, with a focus on central London. The purchase of 20 Farringdon Street marks the continuation of that strategy and I am particularly pleased to have acquired such a strong development opportunity in an area, which continues to grow in popularity. As we expand our business in London, we will seek to take on more local professionals to work alongside our experts from CEE, incorporating key elements of our successful integrated business model. We now look forward not only to beginning construction at 20 Farringdon Street, but also to continuing to seek opportunities in our target markets in London as we build out our UK platform.”