Edge, Mitsubishi buy major London office scheme in value-add play

Dutch developer Edge and Japan’s Mitsubishi Estate London have announced the acquisition of 125 Shaftesbury Avenue, a 180,000 ft2 office building in London’s West End, in a deal said to be worth around £150 mln (€175 mln).

The vacant 1.2-acre freehold site was sold by Korean asset manager Vestas Investment Management and Savills Investment Management.

The 1980s building was previously occupied by WeWork which terminated the lease last year, resulting in a fall of the asset's property value. Savills Investment Management bought the asset on behalf of the Korean investors in 2018, paying £267 mln to Almacantar, which had acquired the asset in 2013 for £110 mln.

The scheme presents a major central London redevelopment opportunity for the joint venture partners. The new landlords said that they 'will deliver a modern, innovative workplace with sustainability and people’s wellbeing at its core'. Plans for the building will be aligned to Edge’s commitment to achieving absolute Net Zero by 2050.

The building marks Edge’s third London site in its mission to provide sustainable, tech-enabled developments.

Fons van Dorst, managing director UK at Edge said: 'The need for healthy, sustainable, and smart buildings in accessible and vibrant locations is overdue in London. The acquisition of 125 Shaftesbury Avenue demonstrates Edge’s commitment to delivering best-in-class developments, as well as further proof of the markets’ interest in our vision. We look forward to reviving this iconic site alongside our partners at Mitsubishi Estate London Limited.'

Shinichi Kagitomi, managing director at Mitsubishi Estate London Limited added: 'As long-term believers in the longevity and resilience of London’s office market, we are pleased to have made another acquisition and remain committed to growing our existing pipeline of developments projects across the Capital. We know that global occupiers still demonstrate strong demand for premium, sustainable and innovative workspaces and that there is pressure on the market to respond with suitable product in order to attract the best businesses. Having seen Edge’s track record in this arena, we are excited to be working alongside them to deliver a flagship new workplace.'

The seller was advised by Savills and CBRE, with Ashurst acting as their legal advisor, while the purchaser was advised by JLL and Avison Young, along with legal representative, BCLP.

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