AXA Real Estate, announced that it has signed a 15 year lease with Google for 165,000 ft² (approx. 15,330 m²) of space at its King’s Cross office development in London.
As a result, the office element of the 400,000 ft² (approx. 37,160 m²), building is now fully let, with the remaining office space being pre-let to BNP Paribas’ subsidiaries on a 15 year lease, in September 2012. Construction is due to complete later this year and discussions are underway with several operators for the retail and restaurant space.
AXA Real Estate’s forward purchase of the building in September 2012 as part of a 50:50 joint venture partnership with a large third party international partner, from developer from BNP Paribas Real Estate, represented one of London’s largest office transactions of 2012. The acquisition was in line with AXA Real Estate’s value-add investment strategy and was indicative of its ability to find value in a highly competitive London market.
The development is a central feature of the 67 acre King’s Cross Central Development scheme and is well positioned to benefit from the on-going regeneration of area. The building’s proximity to one of London’s most important transport hubs, at the Eurostar terminus, also provides it with seamless links within London, to the rest of the UK and Continental Europe.
Over the last 14 years, AXA Real Estate has successfully developed over 250 projects in six European countries for a total of more than €9 billion and €5 billion current projects are under management. In London, the projects include ‘Sixty London’ a 210,000 ft² (approx. 19,510 m²), prime City of London Grade A office development, the 160,000 ft² (approx. 14,864 m²) scheme at 6 Bevis Marks and its 60,000 ft² (approx. 5,574 m²) One St Paul’s development.
Harry Badham, UK Director of Development at AXA Real Estate, commented: “AXA Real Estate’s acquisition of this part speculative, part pre-let development was considered to be a bold addition to its development pipeline in 2012. Since then, Kings Cross has continued to become one of the most exciting business destinations in London and this letting to Google is a further endorsement of our ability to identify and deliver attractive speculative development opportunities that enable us to unlock significant value for our investors.”
Source: AXA Real Estate