AXA Real Estate commences construction of The Department in London (UK)

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers announced that it has received planning consent from Westminster City Council for a major mixed use redevelopment on Wilton Road, which will create 150,000 ft² (approx. 13,935 m²) of office, residential and retail space across nine storeys, opposite Victoria station. The building, which was occupied until November 2013, is managed by AXA Real Estate, on behalf of one of its clients

The scheme, branded ‘The Department’, has been designed by the award winning international design consultancy SPARK and aims to add to the on-going transformation of Victoria as one of London’s prime commercial and mixed use districts. AXA Real Estate has already started the strip out and construction works, with completion due late in 2015.

The Department will comprise 100,000 ft² (approx. 9,290 m²) of office space benefitting from dramatic floor to ceiling glazed bay windows. The new office space will be accessed from an outstanding new office entrance on Wilton Road, directly opposite Victoria station. The internal space has been designed with complete flexibility to suit a range of occupiers and is intended as a counterpoint to the more traditional space in the local market. The ground floor areas will provide retail space which will further enhance the amenities for future occupiers of the building, as well as revitalising the street presence.

In line with mixed use planning policies, the top three floors of the building will comprise 14 apartments. These will be held and rented out as part of AXA Real Estate’s increasing move towards creating a development track record in the private residential sector.

The development is in line with AXA Real Estate’s comprehensive sustainability policy, by reusing the existing concrete structure and targeting BREEAM Excellent and Code for Sustainable Homes level 4.

Including this development AXA Real Estate will have undertaken five major office developments in London comprising over 1 million ft² (over 92,900 m²) in the past three years. These have included: One St Paul’s in the City of London which is fully let to Genesis Oil and Gas Consultants Ltd; Sixty London, a 215,000 ft² (approx. 19,974 m²) prime City of London Grade A office scheme which has been fully let; Six Bevis Marks, a 200,000 ft² (approx. 18,580 m²) 16 storeys project in the City of London’s insurance district which completes in the summer; and 6 Pancras Square, a 500,000 ft² (approx. 46,451 m²) office forward funded development in Kings Cross, recently pre-let to Google. AXA Real Estate has a pan-European development team which since 2000 has delivered over 250 projects in six European countries with a gross development value exceeding €9 billion.

Harry Badham, Head of UK Development at AXA Real Estate, commented: “Having worked closely with the local planning authority to design a scheme that will dramatically improve the building by creating a highly sustainable prime new office, residential and retail destination, we are very pleased to push ahead with our plans for the development of The Department. This project is another example of how we aim to create value from our long term portfolio by utilizing AXA Real Estate’s development expertise.”

Max Titchmarsh of SPARK, added: “We are very excited to be leading the design of this scheme which is an exciting opportunity to comprehensively upgrade the building and create a bold new landmark.”

Source: AXA Real Estate

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