Smithson Plaza Completed

£160m Sale Of Smithson Plaza Completed

UNITED KINGDOM – American real estate investor Tishman Speyer has completed the £160 million ($218 million) divestment of a mixed-use development in London’s West End to the property investment division of the Portuguese insurer Fidelidade, according to a recent report from Property Funds World.

Known as Smithson Plaza, the commercial property consists of three buildings within the St. James’s submarket. There’s the 14-storey Smithson Tower office tower measuring 52,000 sq ft, the 7-storey Denham Building spanning 11,000 sq ft (8,500 sq ft is for residential use), and the 5-storey Bank Building that comes with 5,000 sq ft of office premises. The complex also includes retail, gallery and restaurant space totalling nearly 13,000 sq ft.

Built as the HQ for The Economist, the Grade II-listed development is an iconic example of modernist architecture during the 1960s. It is also the last remaining building in London designed by famed wife and husband architects Alison and Peter Smithson.

Moreover, the development provides panoramic views over central London as it’s the tallest office building in St James’s.

Previously, Tishman Speyer purchased the complex for its value-add fund, TSEV VII, from The Economist in March 2016. The American property investor then renovated the property in September 2017, with the early stages of the refurbishment finished in June 2018. The company then rented out the vacant level while carrying out further renovations across the property. Back then, it recorded the highest rents in London of £200 psf, and is currently 91 percent occupied.

“The entire team at Tishman Speyer is incredibly proud of what it has achieved at Smithson Plaza – a rejuvenated home to an accomplished mix of office, retail and residential tenants. We have taken our responsibility as custodians of this iconic property with the utmost seriousness and trust that our other goal – of welcoming the broader public back into the plaza – continues to stand the test of time,” commented Tishman Speyer UK’s Managing Director Dan Nicholson.

“This sale marks a further milestone for Tishman Speyer in the London office market, a success story which began over 20 years ago. It also represents an important milestone for this particular fund, this being the last asset from this closed- ended vehicle to be sold and we are delighted to execute this exit as it substantially crystallises the performance of the fund, which is projected to successfully deliver its net target return to investors,” he added.

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