BLME picks up Edinburgh office for €30m

London-based Islamic institution The Bank of London & The Middle East (BLME) has acquired a prime office asset in Edinburgh, UK, from pan-European investor Palm Capital for £27 mln (€30 mln).

The property at 1 Waterfront Avenue is the headquarters of Scottish Gas, which recently signed a new 16-year lease for the 94,100 ft2 space, via parent company Centrica. The firm, which currently houses around 1,800 staff members on site, has occupied the building since 2003.

'Having acquired this asset off-market in 2016 and subsequently restructured the lease with Centrica, this sale follows the completion of our business plan and realizes significant value for our investors,' said Reda Khatim, managing director at Palm Capital.

The BREEAM Excellent asset is located at Edinburgh Waterfront on a former gasworks site and was designed by Foster & Partners.

Palm Capital said that demand for office space in Edinburgh has recently soared, with vacancy rates at an all-time low of 2.9%.

Office investment volumes of over £430 mln have been recorded so far in 2019 – close to double figures for the whole of 2018, according to Colin Finlayson of JLL.

JLL, Sheridan Property Consultants and DCS Legal advised Palm Capital, who acquired the building in 2016. Darin Partners, CBRE and CMS advised BLME.

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