Slovakian Property Developer HB Reavis Wins £120m Farringdon Offices Deal

HB Reavis, a Slovakian property developer, has agreed a deal to build a £120 million office block above Farringdon’s new Crossrail platforms.

The developer has acquired the rights from Transport for London (TfL) for the “over-site development” on the corner of Cowcross Street and Farringdon Road.

HB Reavis expects to start construction this year on the 138,000 square foot development, which will see a ground floor and basement retail space, seven storeys of offices including a fitness facility, a terrace and a parking space for bikes that can be accessed from the Cycle Superhighway.

It will feature open, flexible office floor plates and a 170-seater auditorium to be used as event space for occupiers.

British studio John Robertson Architects, which also worked with HB Reavis on its 33 Central office development in the City, has designed the Farringdon project with the aim of achieving the highest Well Building Institute standard of “Platinum”.

The plan is to achieve one of London’s highest office space-to-terrace ratios with external places for work, relaxation, socialising and events.

Construction work is scheduled to start at the end of the year and complete in 2020.

It will coincide with the launch of the Elizabeth Line, which will serve 41 stations and stretch by more than 60 miles from Heathrow and Reading in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.

It is one of 12 major building projects planned over and around the new Elizabeth line stations, between Paddington and Woolwich. They are expected to raise £500 million for TfL to reinvest in the capital.

A number of investors have ploughed money into retail and office buildings near the new stations, attracted by expected higher shopper footfall and businesses looking to open new headquarters. Two hundred million passengers are expected to use the new line each year.

HB Reavis director Steven Skinner said his company is committed to investing “in locations with superb connectivity and unique character”.

A similar agreement at Bond Street will see 110,000 sq ft of office accommodation being developed above the station by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland.

Planning permission has also been awarded for 36,000 sq ft of retail, a 40,000 sq ft theatre and 209,000 sq ft of offices at the eastern ticket hall of Tottenham Court Road on the corner of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road. Derwent is set to appoint a main contractor later in 2018.

Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at TfL, said: “With the arrival of the Elizabeth Line, Farringdon will become one of the best-connected places in London. We are therefore delighted to have reached this agreement with HB Reavis at this superb location.

“As a key part of our huge development pipeline, the Elizabeth line schemes are directly opening up opportunities for new homes and jobs, and could raise £500 million to reinvest in London’s transport network.”

The project is HB Reavis’ fifth Central London office development acquisition, following 33 Central, which was completed and sold to Wells Fargo in December 2017; 20 Farringdon Street, completed in April 2018; Cooper & Southwark, fully pre-leased to CBRE’s global workplace solutions division and then sold in June 2018; and One Waterloo (also known as Elizabeth House) on the South Bank, which HB Reavis acquired in May 2017.

DMZ thinks there will be lots more deals like this over the next 12 months as developers look to tap into the wide-ranging opportunities offered by Crossrail.

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