UBS has agreed to buy Mondial House, one of the London City’s best known buildings, from BT for around £55m.
BT currently uses the 400,000 sq ft building, on Upper Thames Street, EC4, as a telephone exchange, although it also includes some office space. There is also a fire station on the ground floor.
UBS has teamed up with City Offices, the development company established by members of Greycoat Estates, to buy the site. The property will be put into UBS’s £1bn Triton fund.
It is understood that the buyers are considering either refurbishment or total redevelopment of the site, with refurbishment the likely option. The site is believed to have the potential for considerably more space than is currently available. Work on the site will be managed by City Offices.
Although Mondial House is located on a valuable site by the Thames, it is cut off from the rest of the City by a dual carriageway.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is currently considering whether to list Mondial House, following a study by English Heritage into 20th Century buildings. However, it is understood that the property is unlikely to be listed.
Mondial House was one of only a small number of buildings retained by BT in 2001, when it sold most of its property to Land Securities Trillium and William Pears Group for £2.3bn.
All parties involved declined to comment.
Source: Freeman News/ Property Week