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Old May 4th, 2011, 08:45 PM   #2321
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London apartment sells for $208m

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One Hyde Park in London where an apartment recently sold for more than $200 million. Supplied

An apartment in an exclusive London development has sold for a UK record £135 million ($208 million), the Financial Times reported Saturday.

But despite the hefty price tag, the top three floors of the One Hyde Park development comes with bare walls and no amenities, meaning that the new owner has had to earmark a further £60 million for interior work.

The new owner is thought to be from Ukraine and paid for the penthouse in cash at the end of the property boom in 2007, according to new documents released by the UK Land Registry.

The identity of the buyer is covered by confidentiality clauses with Project Grande (Guernsey) Limited, the developer.

The sale is the largest to be made at the One Hyde Park development in London, which has become the most expensive residential development with almost £1 billion of sales transacted across 45 apartments..
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Old May 4th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #2322
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London office development doubles in six months

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London has experienced its first rise in office construction for three years, according to the Drivers Jonas Deloitte Crane Survey.

Construction of London offices has increased by 137% from 2.7m sq ft six months ago to 6.4m sq ft, the property consultancy’s research said today, with nearly half the schemes that are on site over 100,000 sq ft.

The research showed that 25 new schemes had started construction in the past six months across London, but in the City, the amount of space under construction remained below average, with 120,000 sq ft being delivered in 2012 and nothing currently scheduled for 2013. This is despite construction in the City doubling over the last six months to 2.8m sq ft with five new starts recorded, the first new activity in 18 months.

The City’s largest towers are responsible for the majority of impending space in the area, with 20 Fenchurch Street, The Pinnacle and The Leadenhall Building all scheduled for delivery 2014.

In the West End, the survey recorded the largest number of new starts ever recorded in a single survey. This means the West End now has the highest amount of space under construction for more than two years.

Thirteen new schemes totalling 1.4m sq ft of floorspace have started over the last six months in the West End, bringing the total volume of office space now being built to just under 2m sq ft. This is a sign that developers are recognising low levels of Grade A space and the rapidly rising rents.

Anthony Duggan, head of research at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said: “This survey records a dramatic positive change in construction activity as anticipated in our last report. The race is on to deliver schemes to take advantage of the dwindling supply of Grade A space in 2012 and 2013.”

Matthew Elliott, head of transactions at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said: “The big story, perhaps the only story, is the building of the new City towers. If all are built we could see over 200 tower floors coming to the market at a similar time in 2014/15 - an unprecedented situation - and this excludes The Shard being built on the other side of the Thames.

“Some will worry that this will lead to oversupply and falling rents, but others say that this is a further sign of confidence, a sign that London remains the global financial centre. Everyone is talking about it but the market doesn’t yet know how this will play out.”
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Old May 4th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #2323
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As a reminder.







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Old May 5th, 2011, 02:19 AM   #2324
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O2 Arena gets new mate
Very elegant design, and it looks very similar to One New Change though IMO.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 04:14 AM   #2325
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Sorenson Media opens London office

Sorenson Media last week announced the opening of a new office in London. With offices in San Diego, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, the company’s London base marks the first Sorenson Media office in Europe, establishing an even greater sales presence for the digital media solutions company in the UK and countries across Europe.

As consumer demand expands globally, Europe has become a thriving market for Sorenson Media’s high quality video encoding and publishing solutions. Despite not having local presence until now, the City of London beats New York City as the company’s No. 1 online revenue generator worldwide, and Europe as a whole generates 30% of Sorenson Media’s online revenue.

“Sorenson Media has long considered the benefits of establishing a European presence, especially considering our large international customer base. Opening a London office was an ideal way to meet the needs of our important European-based customers,” said Peter Csathy, CEO of Sorenson Media.

Commenting on the new venture, Mark Lawson, appointed to run the European operation, said: “Sorenson Media is at the forefront of developing solutions for the future of online video. The company understands its market and is constantly creating and improving products to meet consumer demands. I’m excited to join this industry leader with such outstanding leadership and a reputation for being highly innovative, hard working and team oriented.”
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...meyear=May2011

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Redevco submit plans for City office redevelopment

Office scheme at 120 Moorgate to include 110,000 sq ft of office space.

International real estate firm, Redevco, has submitted plans for the redevelopment of offices in the City of London at 120 Moorgate, EC2.

The scheme, which hopes to enlarge upon the existing property, will ultimately provide 105,000 sq ft of prime location office space in the heart of the Square Mile. Additionally, 23,500 sq ft of retail space is planned on the ground floor and basement.

The proposals provide for ten floors of office space with floor-plates ranging in size from 10,000 sq ft to 12,500 sq ft, with a large open roof terrace planned for the sixth floor. Redevco purchased the site in 2004 for £46.2m from The Property Merchant Group and GMAC Commercial Mortgage, now known as Capmark.

120 Moorgate occupies a prime retail and office location on one of the City’s principal thoroughfares. The previous owners had themselves intended to undertake a comprehensive refurbishment or redevelopment, and plans for both were progressed, but the sale to Redevco, through Knight Frank, represented an opportunity to take an attractive and early profit and to concentrate on larger projects.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...meyear=May2011
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Old May 5th, 2011, 07:36 AM   #2326
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It's good to see that there is a lot of demand for London's office space
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Old May 5th, 2011, 09:57 AM   #2327
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Originally Posted by GSAA View Post
How many of the towers from the opening psot will actually be built? Most large projects except for the Shard seem cancelled or delayed IMO, please correct me if I'm wrong...
Well you are wrong. All the biggies in the City are under construction, and so are many other towers around London.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 09:10 PM   #2328
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New US embassy to use landscape as 'fortifications'

Thousands of homes would be built around the new US Embassy in a neighbourhood designed with "natural fortifications", plans reveal today. The Embassy Gardens development on old industrial land at Nine Elms in Wandsworth would also see a commercial district and plaza surrounding the "impenetrable" building. The US embassy will move south of the river in about 2016 after leaving its current home in Grosvenor Square.





Ballymore reveal Embassy Gardens would include 2,000 homes, an "Embassy plaza", a 100-bedroom hotel, up to 600,000 square feet of offices and about 130,000 square feet of shops, bars and restaurants. Extra space will also be made available for shops and services for the 1,800 embassy workers and visitors.

The project needed to stick to strict anti-terrorism criteria laid down by the US government. The Mayor's design adviser, Sir Terry Farrell, is overseeing the project and today said he hoped the scheme would rival the Thameside regeneration of east London.

Sir Terry told the Standard: "The aim is to turn it to one's benefit by making a defensive area around the embassy take the form of landscape. It means everyone can look at landscape instead of looking at it like fortifications like at Grosvenor Square." Ballymore hopes that if permission is granted, construction on the 15-acre site will begin early next year. The US government reportedly bought its plot of up to five acres for about £90 million.

Sir Terry was responsible for the masterplan of the site, which includes nine separate plots of land with buildings up to 23 storeys high. Under new rules from the US Congress, all embassies must have a 100ft "seclusion zone" within a self-contained site of at least 4.5 acres.

The new embassy itself has outline planning permission from Wandsworth council. The US ambassador to London, Louis Susman, chose a glass cube design by Philadelphia-based practice KieranTimberlake.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...tifications.do
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Old May 5th, 2011, 09:14 PM   #2329
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Human shields!
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:36 AM   #2330
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Central London commercial property investment up 34% year on year

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Investment in central London commercial property in the first three months of 2011 increased by around 34% year on year, in an encouraging sign for the capital, according to figures from global property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.

Total transactions across the capital for the first quarter were around £2.19 billion compared to £1.63 billion in the first quarter of 2010. However, this represented a decrease of 24% from the previous quarter, as a shortage of stock hampered performance, it points out. This was the first quarter showing a fall, following six consecutive quarters of increasing investment.

Total transactions for 2010 in central London totaled around £9.9 billion, an increase of a third on that for 2009 which stood at £6.6 billion. The amount of investment still falls a long way short, though, of that achieved during the property boom of a few years ago when it was £19.42 billion in 2007, £14.49 billion in 2006 and £15.25 billion in 2005.

From the figures, the City investment market appears to have been extremely active, with a turnover of £1.6 billion and 24 transactions. However, these are heavily skewed by the final exchange and completion of approximately five major 2010 transactions, amounting to in excess of £1 billion, the report points out. These include several acquisitions: the Goldman Sachs building, River Court House, Fleet Street by Joseph Lau for £280 million; Freshfield’s HQ building, 65 Fleet Street by the Malaysian Pension Fund for £148 million and the Rolls Building, Fetter Lane by Legal & General for £300 million.

West End completed transactions totaled approximately £600 million in the first quarter, significantly down on the same period in 2010 when it was £1.06 billion and also on the fourth quarter of last year when it was £1.5 billion.

However, these figures do not take into account the circa £850 million of transactions where contracts have exchanged in the first quarter and are likely to complete in the second quarter. Notable acquisitions include: Belgrave House by Teachers for £108 million, Savoy Court by USS for £45.40 million and 10 Old Bond Street by a private investor for £43.75 million.

Overseas investors continue to lead the market, accounting for over 53% of deals in the City, and over 55% of deals in the West End. Inclusive of exchanged transactions, the West End figure increases to over 65%. In the City, the majority of sales came from UK funds at 51.9%. Domestically, the UK funds and PropCos continue to be active, albeit on a selective basis, and account for approximately 33% of the West End market over the first quarter.

In the City, the market remains polarized between very large investment opportunities of which there are a number, approximately £2 billion worth in four buildings, and much smaller opportunities. The total current availability in the City is around £2.8 billion among 34 opportunities.

In the West End, demand for good quality investments remains strong. The retail sector is in particular demand with overseas buyers generally at the head of the queue, but with some institutional interest for lot sizes under £50 million. Offices are also in demand, especially those with active management opportunities, the report points out.

‘There remains a heavy weighting of international money seeking opportunities in the market and a sweet spot remains for standing investments of between £50 and £150 million,’ said Bill Tyser, head of City investment at Cushman & Wakefield.

‘Whilst the demand for very large investments is less, it is still active and is a reflection of the international view of London as a relatively stable market against the geo-political unrest and natural disasters experienced in recent months. The outlook for quarter two remains strong, albeit for the City the number of acquisition opportunities remains relatively narrow and dominated by large lot sized investments,’ he explained.

Clive Bull, head of central London investment at Cushman & Wakefield said that central London commercial property remains a mature, transparent and liquid market. ‘Demand remains strong from both domestic and overseas investors as London continues to be perceived as a relatively safe haven for investment, especially in recent events around the world. With sterling still weak and an increase in stock likely with banks off-loading assets, we are confident that 2011 will see volumes rise,’ he added.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:53 AM   #2331
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SOLD! Ukraine's richest man snaps up Britain's most expensive flat... for £136 MILLION ($225m) (and he's already planning a £60 MILLION ($100m) refit)

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Ukraine's richest man has snapped up Britain's most expensive flat in a recording-breaking purchase.

Rinat Akhmetov, 44, a self-made billionaire after investing in steel and coal mines, will soon have the keys to the priciest apartment in the One Hyde Park development in London's exclusive Knightsbridge - after forking out £136million.

But the penthouse, which has breathtaking views over Hyde Park and the London skyline, is unlikely to make a dent in Mr Akhmetov's reported £10billion fortune.

The coal miner's son and father-of-two bought two apartments and had them knocked into one - and now he is planning a £60million refit of the interior of the three-storey penthouse.

According to the Financial Times, Elena Dovzhenko, spokeswoman for Mr Akhmetov, confirmed that the oligarch’s holding company, System Capital Management, had invested in the property.

And 2009 accounts reveal that SCM is the leading financial and industrial group in Ukraine with assets of about £11.3billion.

Mr Akhmetov's new home does certainly not fall short in the luxury stakes. The giant glass and concrete block of flats, sandwiched between Harvey Nichols and The Serpentine, was last year billed as the return of the super-rich to London's property market.

At an asking price upwards of £6,000 per square foot, the luxury development – designed by Lord Rogers and masterminded by developer brothers Nicholas and Christian Candy – is said to be the most expensive residential property in the world.



Nice pad: The building includes a private cinema, 21-metre swimming pool, saunas, a gym, a golf simulator, a wine cellar, a valet service, concierge and room service from the Mandarin Oriental next door


Even the service charge for the flat's owners is record-breaking. At £150 per square metre per year, the owners of the biggest units can expect to pay more than £100,000 annually


Estate agents and property analysts say the development proves the top end of the property market is booming as the financial elite - international businessmen and overseas investors - are looking for a safe place to invest


Sumptuous: Inside one of the multi-million pound apartments which have stunning views over London


Nick Candy (left) and Christian Candy at their offices in Westminster standing next to models of One Hyde Park. The brothers bought the site in 2004 for £150m. Christian is said to have bought one of the apartments himself

The pair bought the site, formerly occupied by a grim 1950s office block, for £150million in 2004. With its 'fortress-like' security which includes iris-recognition systems in the lifts, panic rooms and bullet-proof glass, the design includes 15 different types of precious marble and whole forests of felled European oak.

The building also has a private cinema, 21m swimming pool, saunas, a gym, a golf simulator, a wine cellar, a valet service, concierge and room service from the Mandarin Oriental next door, not to mention an underground passage to a Heston Blumenthal restaurant.

The cheapest home on offer, a humble one-bedroom flat, is said to cost £6.75million, with developers claiming that the majority cost between £27million and £33million.

Even the service charge is record-breaking. At £150 per square metre per year, the owners of the biggest units can expect to pay more than £100,000 annually.

The identities of the buyers of One Hyde Park has been one of London's best-kept secrets with many guarded by confidentiality agreements with developers.

Estate agents and property analysts say the development proves the top end of the property market is booming as the financial elite - international businessmen and overseas investors - are looking for a safe place to invest.

About a quarter of buyers in the block are Middle Eastern, while one third are European.

One duplex apartment has been reserved by Mohammed Saud Sultan Al Qasimi, head of finance for the government of Sharjah, one of the United Arab Emirates.

Another is under contract to London-based Vladimir Kim, a billionaire who is chairman of the Kazakhstan copper producer Kazakhmys, and another is being bought by Ray Grehan, the founder of Irish residential developer Glenkerrin.

According to the Land Registry, 33 flats have been registered with a combined value of £727million although Project Grande, owner of the building, said 45 sales were completed, but some are not yet on the register.

About 30 flats are still to be sold worth about £125million. The previous most expensive flat was valued at £115million in a rival Central London development at St James’s Square in 2008.




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Old May 6th, 2011, 09:44 PM   #2332
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Land Securities plans new Victoria offices

Commercial property developers Land Securities have announced plans for a mixed-use redevelopment in Westminster, London. Land Securities is seeking planning consent for the redevelopment of their Kingsgate House office block at 66 to 74 Victoria Street. The company plans to replace the existing building with two new buildings offering commercial and residential accommodation.

Kingsgate House is a 1960′s office block containing 155,500 sq ft of office space along with approximately 31,000 sq ft of retail space. The offices are predominately occupied by a range of Government departments. The existing building is expected to be vacant by March 2012.

Subject to planning consent, two new buildings (pictured) are to be constructed on the site. Total Grade A office floor space will amount to 203,000 sq ft. The West Building will provide the office accommodation and the East Building provides the residential accommodation. Both buildings will offer ground-floor retail units. The office block steps up in height from 8 storeys up to 13 storeys and will be slightly taller than Kingsgate House.

Land Securities owns several buildings in Victoria Street and other current projects include the £150m refurbishment of 123 Victoria Street and the speculative 253,000 sq ft office development at 62 Buckingham Gate.

Colette O’Shea, Head of Development, London Portfolio, Land Securities, commented: “Our plans for Kingsgate House will play a vital part in continuing to transform Victoria into a distinct and vibrant destination, responding to the modern requirements of those who live, work and visit the area.”

Architects for the scheme are Lynch Architects. Market reports suggest the proposals have a development cost in the region of £150m.
http://offices.org.uk/news/land-secu...-05061528.html

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Refurbishment complete at Mulberry’s Kensington offices

British luxury brand Mulberry has unveiled its newly refurbished office space in Kensington completed by British-Australian firm Universal Design Agency. The retailer has combined its previous two London offices into one single location spread over 40,000 sq ft on Kensington Church Street, formerly the offices of McKinsey.

Mulberry worked with Universal Design Studio to create a homely space for its UK headquarters. Retaining much of the original structure and utilising original features, it wanted to encourage creativity and reflect it's playful British spirit, with charming touches.

In addition to offices and meeting rooms, the property also houses Mulberry’s design atelier, an outdoor courtyard, showrooms, cafe, gym, and photographic studio.

Universal also created Mulberry’s 50 New Bond Street flagship store concept, constructing a space that suits the brand’s commitment to heritage and traditional craft, as well as its affinity for innovative design and a touch of English brand eclecticism. The design agency also recently delivered Mulberry’s flagship store for the north of England, in Manchester.

Universal’s client list reads like a who’s who in fashion with Elle Macpherson, Hennes & Mauritz, Juicy Couture, Liberty, Paul Smith, Reiss and Stella McCartney among their many well know customers.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...meyear=May2011
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Old May 6th, 2011, 11:00 PM   #2333
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City towers on the rise…but not fast enough

As the Shard rises over the London skyline, it might seem to passers by that the UK capital will not be running out of office space any time soon. But a new survey indicates that, though developers are gradually rediscovering their appetite for new projects, they are not doing so at a sufficient pace to keep up with demand from the City's financial industry.

The London Offices Crane Survey, compiled by Drivers Jonas Deloitte on a biannual basis, is a key indicator of confidence among real estate developers, as well as for predicting future office supply

Its survey for summer 2011, released this week, revealed a substantial increase in new building projects – the first for three years – with 25 new schemes having gotten underway in the past six months. In total, 6.4 million sq ft of office space is now under construction across London. With levels having dropped rapidly over the past three surveys – reaching a record low of 2.7 million sq ft six months ago – this, the report concludes, is a “dramatic positive change in developer sentiment”. Critically, there have been five new builds in the City of London itself, the first new activity in the square mile for 18 months.

A total of 2.8 million sq ft is now under construction in London’s traditional financial district, with 80% of that space being created in just three large projects – 20 Fenchurch Street, The Pinnacle, and The Leadenhall Building.

Anthony Duggan, head of research at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, said that he believed developers’ confidence was justified, as “the London office market continued to outstrip its global competitors in terms of its power as a financial centre and a haven for foreign wealth”.

A report from BNP Paribas Real Estate, published last month, predicted banks and financial services firms would add 11,000 employees in London over the next three years. The French bank’s real estate arm predicted they would require 1.6m sq ft of new office space by 2014.

While the Crane Survey indicates 2014 itself will see a rash of completions, it warns that there will be a shortage of space over the next two years. At present, only 120,000 sq ft of new space is slated for 2012 – and nothing at all is planned to become available in 2013.

As a result, Drivers Jonas Deloitte expects rents to continue to rise over the next two years as occupiers are forced to compete for the reduced supply of top quality office space. CB Richard Ellis echoed this view, predicting that prime office rents would reach a peak in 2014, at which point they would meet increased supply from the new development cycle.

Speaking in London yesterday, Peter Damesick, chief economist of the CBRE’s Emea operations, added that the “historic low” for completions next year would be the key driver in generating this recovery in rents. Duggan said that a “window of opportunity” still exists for developers to bring up to 1.2 million sq ft online by 2013. The race is on, he says, for developers to complete and take advantage of the predicted spike in rents.

However, despite these optimistic reports from the industry, developers may not wish to jump through that window too enthusiastically. As Alan Carter, chief executive of Evolution Securities wrote in Financial News last week, rent levels in the City of London have barely moved for the past 25 years.

Given the sharp rates of depreciation suffered by new office buildings in the UK’s financial centre – with rent per sq ft worth little over half its original value after 20 years, according to Carter’s figures – developers would do well to pick and chose new projects carefully.
http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/...dlines-home-IB
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Old May 7th, 2011, 04:05 PM   #2334
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Pioneer Point

by wawd.

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Pioneer Point by wawd, on Flickr

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Pioneer Point by wawd, on Flickr
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Old May 7th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #2335
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London office construction up 137% on six months ago

Construction of office space in Central London is now at 6.4m sq ft compared to an all time low of just 2.7m six months ago (up 137%), according to Drivers Jonas Deloitte’s latest London Offices Crane Survey, which has recorded twenty-five new schemes now under construction.

In the City, three new towers alone will deliver over 160 floors in 2014 and construction of office space in the West End has hit a two year high with 2m sq ft and a record number of new starts.

Construction of office space in the City of London has doubled over the last six months to 2.8m sq ft with five new starts recorded, the first new activity in 18 months. The much talked about City towers are responsible for the majority of the impending space (80% of all space being built in the City) with 20 Fenchurch Street, The Pinnacle and The Leadenhall Building all scheduled for delivery 2014.

In the West End the Crane Survey accounts the largest number of new starts ever recorded in the area in a single survey. This means the West End now has the highest amount of space under construction for over two years. Thirteen new schemes totalling 1.4m sq ft of floorspace have started over the last six months bringing the total volume of office space now being built to just under 2m sq ft. This is a clear sign that developers are taking note of the low levels of Grade A space and the rapidly rising rents. At present just 8% of current available office space in the West End is of Grade A quality, therefore developers are working quickly to turn new space back into the market to capitalise on the anticipated rental growth.

Outside the City and West End, developers of office space in Midtown have also been busy with six new starts – tripling construction activity in just six months with just over 600,000 sq ft under construction.

Anthony Duggan, head of research at Drivers Jonas Deloitte, says: “This survey records a dramatic positive change in construction activity as anticipated in our last report. The race is on to deliver schemes to take advantage of the dwindling supply of Grade A space in 2012 and 2013.”
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...meyear=May2011
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Old May 8th, 2011, 04:04 AM   #2336
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Pioneer Point

by wawd.

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Pioneer Point by wawd, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Pioneer Point by wawd, on Flickr
Never seen these towers before. Sorry to say that these towers are in the wrong location IMO. Should be in whether The City or Canary Wharf.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 04:12 AM   #2337
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Cost model: City of London offices


01 / INTRODUCTION
Times remain uncertain, but exciting, for the City of London office development market. With the dust beginning to settle following the global credit crunch, the fortunes of the sector are as inextricably linked to the future success of the city.

The gradual return to health of financial and professional services, and an anticipated rise in levels of employment, will inevitably lead the call for high-quality office space and, in turn, directly affect the pipeline of development over the coming cycle.

Furthermore, according to research by CBRE, a return of the investment market driven by the current lack of supply will see rental income, not capital growth, become the key performance driver in the central London office market in 2011. This is set to be driven further by the expiry of major leases over the next few years, with Aon and Schroders in the market this year for 200,000ft2 and 250,000ft2 respectively. Nabarros will be looking for 150,000ft2 in 2014, with Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ lease on 350,000ft2 of space at 1 Embankment expiring in 2015.

As corporate investors compete for prime commercial real estate in a diminishing supply pool, there is cause for optimism as many of the blue-chip developer-led schemes that became the first and highest profile casualties of the credit crunch, are dusted down and brought to market.

In terms of the supply side response, the availability and affordability of development funding will frame the ability of the central London office sector’s ability to respond.

Juxtaposed against the current funding climate is the government’s low carbon construction programme, with its call for an integrated supply chain and improved efficiency through the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM). With the government’s aim of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 now committed to statute, the programme could, in the words of chief construction adviser, Paul Morrell, “be read as a business plan for construction, bringing opportunities for growth”.



02 / MARKET SECTOR REPORT
The offices market was one of the sectors worst hit by the 2008/09 credit crunch, impacted by scarcity of finance and investor risk aversion, as well as job losses in banking, financial and business services sectors. The office investment and occupier market saw a sharp downturn and the flow of office construction dwindled.

However, in 2010, as the country began to emerge from recession, commercial property led the way, with a weak sterling attracting overseas investors looking primarily to spread the risk within their investment portfolio through trophy City investments.

Prime rents have been rising since the beginning of 2010, with city prime rents sitting at £55/ft2, an increase of 26% on £43.50 at the end of 2009. This indicates a return of confidence among financial occupiers, according to DTZ, with city prime rents to rise to £67.50/ft2 by the end of 2014.



With office completions in 2011 expected to be at their lowest level for at least 20 years, a supply squeeze in new office space is clearly a prospect.

The increase in demand and a return in confidence should herald a restart of many stalled projects, a number of which were revived in 2010, including tower schemes in the City such as British Land’s Leadenhall development.

A key issue that will either drive or restrict office development will be the availability of finance. Speculative development finance is unlikely to be available in the short term as banks remain risk-averse.

The number of banks providing development finance has shrunk dramatically since 2008, and although there are many that say they do provide funding, in reality most do not.

The recovery in office development in the UK is, therefore, likely to remain cautious, with owners looking at re-use and refurbishment as a viable alternative to new build.

Nevertheless, the recovery in offices new build is expected to pick up gradually this year, led by projects in London, with growth expected to accelerate from 2012, once work starts on large projects brought back on line.




03 / FISCAL INCENTIVES
When set against the current financial climate and its associated strictures in lending, it is worth considering how the post-tax cost of commercial buildings can
be reduced significantly when proper consideration is made of the various fiscal incentives available to an owner.

With increasing HM Revenue & Customs scrutiny the process has to be started early, and with as much as 40% of the construction cost of a commercial office to category A available as a capital allowance, the stakes are high.

Enhanced capital allowances

Enhanced capital allowances (ECAs) are one of the key incentives offered to promote sustainable buildings. ECAs can offer a number of significant tax savings on new developments, but only if they are considered early. Opportunities to claim this 100% tax relief can be found throughout the M&E services within a building. Take lighting as an example: full tax relief can be claimed on the cost of appropriately certified fittings, which can be a significant number on a City tower.

Part L of the Building Regulations is one area where ECAs tend not to be considered in city developments. Often photovoltaic cells or wind turbines are specified to get to the required level of on-site renewable generation. However, neither qualifies for ECAs. ECAs can be claimed on other technologies such as biomass, combined heat and power and ground source heat pumps, which are often overlooked for these schemes.

Refurbishments and fit-outs offer even higher returns of allowances - as much as 80% of construction cost. In the case of refurbishment relief, expenditure on repairs and maintenance could be available in full.

To claim the full potential of capital allowances and other reliefs such as land remediation relief, early professional advice should be sought.

Feed-in tariffs

Juxtaposed to ECAs are the new government incentives, feed-in tariffs, set to go live from April 2010, and the Renewable Heat Incentive, set to be introduced in July 2011.

The feed-in tariffs are designed to incentivise small-scale renewable energy generation with capacities up to 5MW, including technologies such as solar PVs, wind, hydro and anaerobic digestion. The tariffs are set by the government with payment ranging from 9p/kWh generated for anaerobic digestion up to 41.3p/kWh for PV installations. Payment is further supplemented by an “export tariff” of 3p/kWh for surplus energy exported back to the grid. The tariffs are applicable over 20 years - 25 years for solar PV - and are index linked against the RPI. The return is up to 8% a year. In practice this means the capital costs should be earned back between two and three times over the duration of the tariffs.

Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive will encourage investment in energy installations that utilise renewable fuels and sources. This includes biomass boilers, solar thermal, heat pumps (ground and water source), on-site biogas, deep geothermal - energy from waste (the biomass proportion of municipal waste) and injection of biomethane into the gas grid.

The tariffs pay up to a maximum of 8.5p/kWh for hot water and heat that is self-generated and are index linked over 20 years. It is anticipated that participants could earn enough money through the tariffs to recover the initial capital outlay within seven to nine years. The tariffs give building owners and occupiers the opportunity to “green up” their operations economically. These also make it easier to gain benefits under BREEAM, LEED, CRC and their associated planning gains.

The UK office market is moving towards a greener product - with the British Council for Offices’ guide for 2009 heavily biased towards sustainable measures - but the key stumbling block is whether the market will pay an uplift either in rent or purchase price for a “greener” building (with a higher BREEAM/LEED rating and/or DEC grade).

The lesson for the commercial development community is that building an office with as high a green rating as possible is a good way of attracting tenancy and also future-proofing the built product.

04 / SECTOR RESPONSE
 About half of all carbon emissions emanate from the built environment. No surprise then that, with new statutory targets to reduce carbon emissions in the UK by 80% by 2050, there is intense scrutiny of the carbon performance of both new-built assets and the existing stock.

So what might this mean for the central London offices market? Although the definition of zero carbon remains a little vague, certainly until “allowable solutions” are better defined, the government has said that new non-residential buildings will have to meet this standard by 2019, with definitive markers laid down along the way - the first being as soon as 2013.

And in practice? From October last year, key changes to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of the Building Regulations came into effect, with its key target to reduce building CO2 emissions by 25% compared with the 2006 target.

Will this speIl the end of the glass monoliths of the 2000s, as new fabric energy efficiency standards come to bear?

Joint research released in July of last year by Davis Langdon and Arup, pre-dating the release of the revised Part L, modelled a range of potential specification responses and their associated cost differential. In short it found that across a range of facade conditions ranging from 35-70% glazed area, the cost premium for Part L 2010 compliance ranged from about 1-8%; dependant upon the relative mix of a range of factors from glass specification, the degree of active facade strategy deployed and MEP system typology.

A position paper by Davis Langdon and Aecom in December 2010, revisited the central premise of the previous research by asking whether highly (double) glazed facade solutions were still deliverable under revised Part L regulations, without compromising on cost, user comfort or the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions.
Unsurprisingly it urged caution against a blanket response, with each project’s response to be treated on its own merits.

Nevertheless, with careful specification and selection of the correct high-performance glass - considering “g” (solar gain), “U” (heat loss) and “LT” (light transmission) values - selective use of associated internal/external shading solutions and careful consideration of internal heating/cooling systems, then in most cases it was still possible to meet or even better the minimum requirements of the revised Part L 2010, without any detrimental effect on commercial viability.

Looking at an issue of growing importance as we begin to drive down operational impacts - what of embodied carbon? Some of the big developers are already setting targets and measuring performance in this area. Although a standard method of measurement across the industry is not available, tools do exist to help designers identify what options to consider.

What is certain is that design teams will need to work harder on the carbon performance of the building in early design. And with that, explore how the energy supply will be achieved using the most cost-effective, lowest carbon method.

A host of new regulations introduced over the past few years, including Part L, energy performance certificates (EPCs) and the London Plan, are all beginning to drive change. It is also estimated that many proposed developments that already have planning permission have an estimated EPC rating of below C. So over the next few years we may see a disconnect between user aspirations and the available market product.

Under recently announced government plans, all commercial buildings will have to display their actual energy performance on site within the next 18 months. Such a move would mean that the use of DECs will be mandatory for all commercial buildings by October 2012.

The question of energy supply, or specifically power, to the central London market is also a primary consideration. As we stand, hopefully on the cusp of the next phase of development, the city’s existing primary 11kV supply is at, or near saturation. Over the next two years a total of three new circuit routes are being installed to deliver the required power through the 33kV supply. As a result, developers will face a proportionate charge to pay not only for the installation of the infrastructure, but also for their share of the necessary power reinforcement.

The incorporation of life cycle costing, and the growing emphasis on the whole life value of the asset, will increase the importance of considering at concept and design stage to how the building will operate.

With the introduction of innovations such as green leases and Building Information Modelling (BIM), it becomes clear we need to think differently about the way we scope, design, procure, let and operate our commercial buildings in the future.




05 / THE CASE FOR BIM
Much has been made recently of the potential impact that the widespread adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) could have on the industry and the potential to reduce costs. Endeavour House, a BAA development, saw an overall 9.8% reduction in project cost though the adoption of collaborative 3D modelling for spatial co-ordination, clash detection and the identification of areas of ambiguity.

In respect of the central London office market, the perceived cost of initial model set-up and development and further along the cycle; the traditional divide between developer and tenant, bringing with it a myriad issues surrounding ownership; and transfer of the model probably present the biggest current obstacles to widescale adoption.

However, these costs and barriers are expected to reduce if the government takes the lead from a client perspective and accepts the recommendation for a five-year roadmap to adopt BIM in public sector projects.

06 / THE FUTURE
So where are we on the curve? In simple terms, there is no escaping the demand and supply equation. The austere economic climate and the generally poor availability of development finance are set to frame both the ability and the manner in which the city offices sector may be able to respond to whatever demand there is.

Whether the next wave of development focuses on new build or comes to reflect a mixed picture of new build and creative re-use and refurbishment, there can be no doubt that the low carbon agenda will begin to dictate the product that the sector offers by way of satisfying that demand.

If not already present, a presumption in favour of sustainable development will become the norm, with the assimilation of fundamental industry developments such as BIM set to determine how far and quickly the industry can go towards a zero carbon position.

07 / CITY OF LONDON OFFICE, Q1/2011
Price inflation

The next 12 months look set to be a period of intense competition, putting further downward pressure on prices, fighting against another year of rising material costs.
Spare capacity, even in London, will remain the dominant force on pricing dynamics. But with strong cost pressures coming through, it seems unlikely that all these costs will continue to be absorbed. As such, it is expected that tender prices in Greater London over the year to Q4 2011 will rise 1.5-2.5%. The second year should see the office construction market even more active and some price and margin recovery should be possible, leading to an anticipated price rise of 2-4%.

Procurement

Driven by the financial climate and increasingly stringent funding criteria, the market has witnessed a re-emergence of single-stage design and build as a challenge to the previously dominant two-stage design and build.

Construction management, with or without a guaranteed maximum price mechanism, is present but generally limited to those developers that can raise funding without a lump sum price and have the intent and resource capability to manage the risks. Benefits include speed, proactive management of the process and the opportunity for both client and designers to work directly with specialist contractors.

The cost model

The cost model revisits the high-quality city office scheme first depicted in 2004. The scheme is arranged over 13 floors, including one basement, with a gross internal floor area of 21,300m2 and a wall to floor ratio of 0:40.

The scheme is steelframed, with rates representative of the current market place. It incorporates a unitised curtain walling facade with solid spandrel panels and selective high performance glass with external brise soleil for solar control, to comply with Part L and thermal comfort criteria. This provides a balance between transparency and environmental control. Air treatment is by four-pipe fan-coil unit.

The cost of category A work to a net office area of 15,340m2 - NIA:GIA ratio of 0.72 overall is typical of current fit-out costs procured through general contracting.
Costs are Q1 2011, based on a central London location and construction management procurement. Site organisation and management costs, fee and contingencies are included in the costs, but demolitions and site preparation, external works and services, fit-out costs beyond category A, tenant enhancement, professional fees and VAT are excluded.

Part L 2010 / BREEAM 2008

The model (see attached) depicts a typical condition for Part L 2010 compliance with a BREEAM rating of “very good”.

In line with the commentary on Part L compliance in the section above, and in respect of internal shading/solar control, the landlords’ contribution toward category A
fit-out for internal blinds should be made and would add an anticipated +£18/m2 GIA to the base model.

Renewables

Although not included within the model, provision for renewables should be made in the region of 5%, as an extra-over allowance against the cost of the shell and core MEP services installation. Typically, this would deliver a combination of some, but not all, of the following: solar PV, CCHP, solar hot water and borehole cooling.
Full provision of up to 5% would equate to an additional +£26/m2 GIA to the base model.

Benchmark range

Dependent upon the overall scheme efficiency, in terms of design economics, specification, construction methodology and procurement route, benchmark analysis currently gives a range of £1,940-£2,370/m2 GIA inclusive of Category A finish. By comparison, the cost model depicted here, to Category A fit-out, sits at £2,161 /m2 GIA, excluding provision for renewables or internal solar shading, as identified above.
http://www.building.co.uk/data/cost-...017530.article
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Old May 8th, 2011, 04:36 AM   #2338
R.K.Teck
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Interesting article.
Do you know what the images of buildings in the article are?
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Old May 8th, 2011, 07:57 AM   #2339
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SO143 View Post
Never seen these towers before. Sorry to say that these towers are in the wrong location IMO. Should be in whether The City or Canary Wharf.
I don't agree with that at all, why should high rise construction be restricted to such areas?

Quote:
Baupost To Open London Office

The Baupost Group sees such attractive opportunities in Europe, the hedge fund is set to open its first overseas office in London to take advantage.

The $24 billion Boston-based firm will focus on distressed debt, as European banks begin to offload those assets from their books. In particular, the London team will trade primarily commercial real-estate, structured products and corporate debt, Bloomberg News reports.

The new office will be headed by managing director Jim Mooney. Baupost plans to make a series of external hires to staff it and work with Mooney.

Baupost is no stranger to Europe, having traded in the region for some time. But it has always done so from the comfort of its Boston headquarters.
http://www.finalternatives.com/node/16537
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Old May 8th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #2340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.K.Teck View Post
Interesting article.
Do you know what the images of buildings in the article are?
The white one, I reckon, is part of this: www.regentsplace.com

At least it's on the same site
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