The London office of Hines along with RREEF, the real estate investment arm of Deutsche Bank, announced that they have formed a joint venture to acquire the Fort Halstead office park located near Sevenoaks, Kent, in the UK. The 300-acre facility, was purchased for £91.6 million from QinetiQ, the UK defense technology company which also offices there.
The Fort Halstead site was first used as one of the several strategic forts around London at the end of the 19th century. The facility includes one million square feet in a mix of office, laboratory and storage buildings, and is leased on a long-term basis to QinetiQ, and to Defense Science Technology Limited (DSTL), which is part of the UKs Ministry of Defense. Both companies will remain at the property as part of a sale/leaseback agreement. Also located on the site are 62 private homes.
The team initially plans to develop the residential portion of the site, and then will assist QinetiQ in developing a science-oriented business campus to consolidate their UK operations.
This transaction provides a solid income stream in a premier growth area with future development opportunity, said Simon ODonnell, a Hines UK director who is overseeing the project. We are pleased to work closely with QinetiQ to provide them with a state-of-the-art facility.
ODonnell noted that while this is the first time Hines and RREEF have worked together in the UK, the Deutsche Bank/Hines relationship spans decades. Were already looking at other opportunities with our colleagues at RREEF, he said.
James Petit, head of UK investment management at RREEF said, This is the first investment for the recently launched RREEF UK Property Ventures Fund No. 3. It has all the ingredients we were looking for in particular, scale and duration.
Hines UK has completed and sold over $176 million of developments since its formation in 2000, and currently has two other projects in the pipeline: the 400,000-square-foot redevelopment of Cannon Street Station in London; and the refurbishment of the former Safeway Headquarters near Heathrow.