Legal & General acquires Soho office scheme for £32 million (UK)

Legal & General Property ('LGP') announces that, on behalf of its Managed Fund, it has acquired the freehold interest in 76-88 Wardour Street from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership ('SWIP') for £32.8 million (approx. €36.5 mln.).

The property occupies a prominent corner position and comprises three retail units with five floors of vacant offices above, totaling 48,000 ft² (4,420 m²). The ground and lower ground floors are let to Oxac Ltd (trading as Wahaca), Qsoft Properties Ltd and Hummus Brothers Ltd on leases expiring 2027, 2022 and 2023, respectively.

LGP in conjunction with Walbrook Land propose to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the offices to deliver 33,000 ft² of new Grade A space over the upper five floors in Q1 2013. Floor plates will range from 5,250 ft² to 7,000 ft² and will benefit from triple aspect windows. The office space will be serviced by a new enlarged and prominent corner reception, with a high quality contemporary fit-out.

Mark Russell, Fund Manager at Legal & General Property, commented: "This acquisition provides us with the opportunity to create a high quality office product in this core Soho location. The market remains constrained in supply and we anticipate strong demand from a wide range of occupiers. The refurbishment project also provides the ability to fundamentally improve the sustainability credentials of the building, a factor which we believe is becoming ever more important for our tenants."

Tim Stotesbury, Director of Walbrook Land, added: "There is currently very little competing space that can be delivered as quickly as this scheme, and there is a growing demand from new media companies wishing to be located in the area. We are delighted to be working with Legal and General on this exciting scheme."

Jon Bailey, Investment Director at SWIP, said: "This sale allowed our clients to take the opportunity of realizing the potential from a West End development now."

DTZ acted for LGP and Strutt & Parker acted for SWIP.

Source: FD

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