Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Benson Elliot sells Ealing Cross to Aviva Investors (UK)
Benson Elliot, the UK-based private equity real estate fund manager, announces the sale to Aviva Investors of Ealing Cross, a grade A office building in Ealing town center, and the completion of a forward sale of 1-8 The Broadway, also in Ealing, to Pramerica Real Estate Investors.
The sale of 1-8 The Broadway, constituting the first phase of Benson Elliot’s re-development of the Arcadia Portfolio, was agreed in January of this year. The combined sale price of the twin disposals is north of £100 mln (€126 mln).
Benson Elliot acquired Ealing Cross, the highest quality, most modern office building in Ealing, in June 2013. Soon after acquisition, Benson Elliot initiated a refurbishment of the 133,400 ft² (12.356 m²) building’s common areas, secured planning permission to more than double parking provision and, in November 2013, rolled out a new marketing and letting strategy. During the subsequent months Benson Elliot secured five new tenants, increasing occupancy at Ealing Cross from 68% to 93%, and improving significantly the building’s income profile.
The forward sale to Pramerica of 1-8 The Broadway was announced in January 2014. Completion of the £37.4 million (€47.3 mln) transaction marks the culmination of a transformational redevelopment of the former Arcadia Shopping Centre, with the handover of three new store units to major high street retailers Morrisons, TK Maxx and McDonalds.
Trish Barrigan, Benson Elliot Senior Partner, said: “We’re real believers in the investment attractions of Ealing, and pleased with the central role we’ve been able to play in the transformation of that community’s town center. On Ealing Cross, the property’s strong letting performance and an unsolicited approach persuaded us to exit earlier than planned, but we’re confident Aviva will be good stewards of this prime asset going forward. At Benson Elliot we’ll now focus our attention on the re-development of the remainder of the Broadway site, working with local planning officials and community groups to conceive an exciting new retail and residential offering for Ealing’s Crossrail gateway.”
Strutt & Parker and GCW advised Benson Elliot on the sale of 1-8 The Broadway, while JLL advised on the Ealing Cross transaction.