Barings & LBS snap up Southbank office scheme for €51m

Global asset manager Barings has completed the joint venture acquisition of an office development scheme in Southbank, London for £43.25 mln (€51 mln). €51m LBS, a London based developer, is Barings’ joint venture and development partner for the project. The development scheme was acquired from LaSalle Investment Management.

The site has full planning consent for the demolition of the existing Emmerson building and the development of some 150,000 ft2 (13,935 m2) of new Grade A office space that will be built to high sustainability standards with the target of creating a net zero carbon building.

On completion, the new building will comprise 11 upper floors of Grade A office with a ground floor retail unit. There are plans to provide 14,000 ft2 of affordable workspace at lower ground, ground and first floor.

Darren Hutchinson, head of UK real estate transactions and managing director at Barings, added: 'We are pleased to have partnered with LBS who have an impressive track record of delivering similar schemes in London.

'We very much look forward to working with them to deliver a best in class scheme with strong ESG credentials and that will appeal to a wide range of occupiers and in a vibrant submarket, characterized by very low Grade A vacancy rates and high levels of demand.'

Designed by architects Squire & Partners, occupiers of the building will benefit from access to a wide range of amenities including a roof top communal terrace overlooking the Thames and the City of London, as well as 300 lockers, cycle storage for 284 bicycles, and 28 showers all on the lower ground floor.

Located in the heart of the ‘Bankside’ village of Southbank, the asset will benefit from easy access to both strong public transport infrastructure with Blackfriars, London Bridge and Waterloo train stations all a few minutes’ walk away, as well as the area’s extensive amenities and cultural landmarks including the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and Borough Market.

Gunther Deutsch, head of transactions Europe and managing director at Barings, commented: 'This transaction represented a rare opportunity to acquire a well-located development site in a historically undersupplied and attractive submarket of London. We have strong convictions in the London office market and believe that there will continue to be strong demand for well-located Grade A office space with strong occupier appeal.'

Nick Crawford, managing director of LBS Properties, commented: 'We are delighted to have secured this rare opportunity to deliver a best in class, highly sustainable office building of scale in one of London’s most attractive submarkets.

'We are pleased to be working with Barings, an investor with deep investment expertise across global real estate markets, and share a vision of creating a forward-looking office building, fit for a fast-evolving market, with the tenant experience our priority from day one.'

Chris Lewis, fund manager for debt & value-add at LaSalle Investment Management, added: 'This is an excellent example of value-creation for our client; we have delivered on our business plan to achieve a significant increase in building area through improved planning permission and retain the freehold. We are looking forward to LBS delivering on the scheme and working with them again in the future.'



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