Hammerson plc has entered into an option agreement with Hackney Council to acquire the long term leasehold interest in Northgate, London E1, an 8,200 m² (88,300 ft²) site which adjoins the group's existing Norton Folgate site.
Hammerson has paid £4.1 million to Hackney Council for an option for three years to acquire the Northgate land, which currently has planning consent for 71,500 m² (770,000 ft²) of office space. Further amounts will be payable to Hackney Council on exercise of the option and on the granting of planning and the development and leasing phases of the scheme.
Hammerson has also entered into a contract with Lehman Brothers to terminate the latter's current option arrangement over the Northgate site with Hackney Council.
Hammerson's revised proposals for the enlarged Northgate scheme, which will include the group's adjoining Norton Folgate site, are for a mixed-use development of 79,000 m² (850,000 ft²), incorporating around 43,000 m² (463,000 ft²) of office accommodation, residential units, a hotel and public spaces. Hammerson is currently progressing the scheme proposals in consultation with Hackney Council, with a view to submitting a planning application at the end of 2005.
Hammerson acquired the Norton Folgate site, which currently has planning consent for an 18,600 m² (200,000 ft²) office scheme, as part of its acquisition of the Railtrack portfolio in 2002. In addition to Norton Folgate, the group has two further potential office and mixed-use schemes in the area at Bishopsgate Goodsyard and on Shoreditch High Street.
John Richards, Chief Executive of Hammerson plc, said: "I believe this area of London provides some of the most exciting development opportunities for the future. I am delighted to have signed this agreement, which will allow us to work closely with Hackney Council to bring forward a major mixed-use development. The project will be a key stage in the regeneration of this increasingly important area of London, which includes our highly successful schemes at 280 Bishopsgate and Bishops Square, Spitalfields."
Councillor Jessica Crowe, Deputy Mayor of Hackney Council, said: "Hackney Council is pleased to have entered into an agreement with Hammerson for the development of this strategic site on the edge of Broadgate and Liverpool Street. The Council will now work closely with Hammerson to bring forward an innovative mixed-use development for the site. It will not only benefit the Council financially, but also ensure that regeneration is achieved in this important area of the city."