Helical Bar and Crosstree purchase landmark Silicon Roundabout in £60.75 mln transaction (UK)

Helical Bar plc announces that contracts have been exchanged for the purchase of a 3.12 acre site situated directly adjacent to Old Street Roundabout, London, by a joint venture between Helical Bar plc and affiliates of Crosstree Real Estate Partners ('Crosstree') for a total cash consideration of £60.75 mln (approx. €75 mln).

The purchase will be funded by cash plus bank debt of approximately £30 mln (approx. €37 mln), with Helical and Crosstree having a 33% : 67% economic interest respectively.

The freehold interest comprises: two large office buildings, 207 and 211 Old Street, which are currently let to multiple tenants at a rent of circa £2.1 mln (approx. €2.59 mln) per annum; the land surrounding the office buildings; a retail parade immediately to the west of 207 Old Street at a rent of circa £0.7 mln (approx. €0.86 mln) per annum; and Empire House at 136-144 City Road which is currently vacant. The four buildings total 287,000 ft² (approx. 26,662 m²) of existing net internal space.

This extremely well located site is in a dynamic and regenerating area of London which is attracting growing interest from potential occupiers from the domestic and international technology and creative sectors as well as increasingly mixed uses such as retail, hotel and residential accommodation. Proposals for the site, which are being worked up by architects AHMM, comprise the refurbishment and remodeling of the two large office buildings, as well as the provision of new 'incubator' studios. Empire House will also be refurbished.

Considerable landscaping and public realm enhancement will be undertaken and there is the intention to include featured retail uses at ground floor to add to the vibrant urban environment.

Gerald Kaye, Development Director at Helical Bar said: "This is an extremely exciting opportunity for us to make our mark in a fast improving area on the edge of the City of London. Crosstree and ourselves will be working closely with AHMM to develop the existing site into a comprehensive, dynamic scheme with creative thinking at its heart to attract the burgeoning number of TMT businesses."

Nick Lyle, Founding Partner of Crosstree added "The deleveraging cycle in UK property continues to present exceptional opportunities for well capitalized and experienced investors to substantially transform unloved properties into world-class assets, and we look forward to working closely with Helical to do so here."

Helical/Crosstree were advised by Jones Lang LaSalle. CBRE and Savills acted for the vendor.

Source: FTI Consulting

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