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Great Portland snaps-up ITN headquarters

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London office developer Great Portland Estates has teamed up with BP Pension Fund to buy the headquarters of ITN.

The Great Ropemaker Partnership has bought 200 and 214 Gray’s Inn Road from Beacon Capital Partners LLC for £133 million, according to a statement.

The properties – which cover 246,500 sq ft in central London – realise a combined rent of £8.9 million a year.

Ben Chambers, Great Portland’s investment director, said that rents and property values will be given a boost thanks to the Crossrail project and the Thameslink railway upgrade.

Great Portland has also agreed to pay £120 million for a Royal Mail site in the West End. The 2.3-acre site – near Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road Tube station – will also benefit from the arrival of Crossrail, the firm said.

Royal Mail will continue to rent the site until summer 2013, when work will begin on a mixed-use retail and residential redevelopment. The project will also see the creation of new offices.

Cllr Robert Davis, Westminster Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Built Environment, said: “Crossrail will significantly improve transport links into and around central London, which in turn should benefit business.

“Connections through the West End along with new stations linked to the existing underground system mean that a range of development opportunities are becoming attractive to developers to capitalise on this.”

Speaking about the Royal Mail deal, Great Portland chief executive Toby Courtauld said: “Its redevelopment will accelerate the regeneration of the east end of Oxford Street, one of London’s most exciting submarkets, which is set to benefit significantly from the opening of Crossrail.”

Great Portland, which develops and trades buildings in London, reported in July that international demand saw its real estate rise 3.8 per cent during the first fiscal quarter.

Chambers added: “We are delighted to have acquired 200 & 214 Gray’s Inn Road at an attractive initial yield of 6.4 per cent and a low entry cost of £455 per square foot, significantly beneath our estimate of its replacement cost.

“Furthermore, it is in an area we expect to benefit in the medium term from the impact of the Crossrail and Thameslink projects at Farringdon, and the continued development activity around King’s Cross and St Pancras.”

Crossrail will connect key commercial centres with London’s airports, including Heathrow and London City.




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