Henderson Park has acquired the iconic Woolworth House at 242/246 Marylebone Road in London NW1 for €106.13m (£94m) from Hermes Investment Management.
Originally constructed in 1959, Woolworth House is a highly distinctive Art Deco style office building which sits in a prime location near Regents Park, on the corner of Marylebone Road and Harewood Avenue. It benefits from close proximity to Baker Street and Edgware Road Underground stations, as well as being directly adjacent to the Marylebone railway station which serves 16 million people annually. The 159,000ft² GIA eight-storey office building originally served as Woolworths UK headquarters and is now fully let with BNP Paribas as the main tenant occupying almost 50% of the office accommodation.
Woolworth House has multiple lease expiries with all leases due to expire by June 2022, presenting an opportunity to refurbish and re-let the building and bring the rental tone up to current market rents for prime, modern office space in this area.
The building’s facade is constructed of Portland Stone and features a number of incised carvings and a large sculpture above the portico, as well as a coloured sculpture of the Woolworths’ coat of arms on the central frieze. It was designed by Richard Seifert who also created Centre Point, Kings Reach and Tower 42.
Nick Weber, Founding Partner of Henderson Park, said: “Woolworth House is an extremely well located and highly distinctive office building which we believe offers enormous potential in London’s West End office market that has seen many offices to residential conversions since 2008 and a constrained development pipeline. Our investment in Woolworth House is underpinned by the exciting asset management initiatives that we have identified for the building and our belief that London will retain its status as one of the world’s preeminent global cities and centres for international business, both of which will be key drivers of demand for the high-quality product that we intend to deliver.”
Chris Taylor, Head of Private Markets at Hermes Investment Management, said: “The disposal of Woolworth House follows a proactive asset management strategy being implemented at the asset, which has included regearing of leaseholds within the building. Capital from this sale will be redeployed into new acquisitions which present an opportunity for added value to be achieved.”
Farmer Capital advised Hermes Investment Management on this transaction.