London Office Building

London Office Bldg Divested For £181.5mil

UNITED KINGDOM – Great Portland Estates, a major owner of office properties in the capital, announced on Tuesday that it has offloaded an office building in London for £181.50 million pounds (US$246.59 million), according to a recent report from Reuters.

The sale of the commercial property known as 160 Old Street comes as the landlord witnessed its best quarterly performance since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

In particular, Great Ropemaker Partnership, a joint venture between Great Portland Estates and BP Pension Fund divested the office asset that is strategically located within the heart of the Silicon Roundabout business district.

The office building was purchased by a fund advised by J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives at a 5 percent premium compared to 160 Old Street’s valuation as of March 2021.

Moreover, Great Portland Estates, which owns £2.5 billion worth of real estate in central London disclosed that rent collection in Q3 2021 was the strongest since December 2019, as more employees begin returning to their workplaces after months of telecommuting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a matter of fact, the landlord has received 84 percent of rent it was owed during the third quarter so far.

“Occupier demand is robust, focusing on prime Grade A space and flex office products, both of which play to our strengths,” noted Great Portland Estates’ CEO Toby Courtauld, who added that they foresee the healthy rental demand to continue.

Notably, commercial real estate companies have been the laggards in the broader property market during the global health crisis, as repeated lockdowns and a continuing moratorium on rent collection has negatively impacted retail assets, while the prevalence of working from home (WFH) dragged down office portfolios.

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