British Land agrees a conditional deal to acquire Harmsworth Quays from The Daily Mail General Trust British Land and The Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT) today announce the conditional sale of DMGT's part leasehold part freehold interest in the 14.57 acre Harmsworth Quays printing works site at Canada Water in South East London to British Land. The transaction is due to go unconditional in July 2012.
British Land has a long term interest and investment in the area both from its joint venture with the London Borough of Southwark at Canada Water and its joint venture at Surrey Quays Shopping Centre. Canada Water is a major regeneration zone in Southwark.
In January, British Land announced plans for a GBP 34 million investment at Surrey Quays shopping centre including an extensive refurbishment of the existing centre and a 100,000 sq ft extension along with improvements to the public spaces and connections to Surrey Quays and Canada Water tube and bus stations.
British Land will take possession of the site in late 2013 following the relocation of DMGT's printing operations from Harmsworth Quays to Thurrock.
Mike Rayner, Development Director, British Land, said, 'The purchase of this large site adjoining our existing ownerships re-enforces our confidence in the area and demonstrates our continued commitment to the wider Canada Water regeneration and Rotherhithe. We look forward to working together with the London Borough of Southwark and the local community to realise the full potential of this site.
David Dutton the Director with executive responsibility for the DMGT property said, 'Canada Water has been a really good location for our printing works, it has been changes in technology that have led to the relocation out of the area and I am sure British Land will deliver a really first class scheme on the site which will benefit the local community.'
British Land is one of Europe's largest Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) with total assets, owned or managed, of GBP 15.8 billion (British Land share GBP 10.3 billion), as valued at 31 March 2012. Through our property and finance expertise we attract experienced partners to create properties and environments which are home to over 1,000 different organisations and visited by over 300 million people each year. Our property portfolio is focused on prime retail locations and Central London offices which attract high quality occupiers committed to long leases. Our occupancy rate of 98.0% and average lease length to first break of 11.3 years are among the highest of the major UK REITs.
Retail assets account for 61% of our portfolio with around 27 million sq ft of retail space across 90 retail parks, 99 superstores, 12 shopping centres and 10 department stores. The retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats and our active asset management delivers space which is attractive and meets the needs of both retailers and consumers. Over 80% of our retail parks have open A1 consent.
London offices, located in the City and West End, comprise 34% of the portfolio (which will rise to an estimated 40% on completion of current developments). Our 7 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Broadgate, the premier City office campus (50% share) and Regent's Place in the West End. We have committed GBP 1.2 billion to create Central London's largest committed office development programme which will deliver 2.3 million sq ft of high quality space by 2014, including a 700,000 sq ft building at 5 Broadgate, the 610,000 sq ft Leadenhall Building in London's insurance district and a 500,000 sq ft mixed office and residential scheme at Regent's Place in the West End.
Our size and substance demands a responsible approach to business and we focus on five areas which matter most to us and our key stakeholders: managing buildings efficiently; developing sustainable buildings; enhancing biodiversity; exceeding customers' expectations and focusing on local communities. We believe leadership on issues such as sustainability helps drive our performance and is core to our corporate vision of building the best REIT in Europe.
Further information www.britishland.com
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