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Old May 23rd, 2011, 04:26 AM   #2401
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Spain’s Mr Zara is buying one acre site in London’s West End for £ 220m

Spain’s Amancio Ortega, the co-founder and former chairman of retail giant Inditex, is splashing out on a 1 acre “island site” on London’s Oxford Street for around £220m according to Property Week.

The operation involves Jubilee House at 197-213 Oxford Street for around £165m to which must be added 215-219 Oxford Street next door which he purchased for £55.1m last October. The two buildings were brought to the market together by Irish investor Cosgrave Property Group in March 2010 for between £200m and £210m. But in October the decision was taken to sell them separately.

The sale of Jubilee House is expected to exchange this week. Ortega already owns retail and office properties in London’s West End and the City, as well as assets in New York, Florida, Madrid and Lisbon.

The Spanish retail entrepreneur has a net worth of 31 billion US dollars (£19bn), which makes him the seventh-richest man in the world on the Forbes Rich List 2011. The two buildings’ tenants include Inditex’s international brand Zara, as well as Next, River Island and New Look.

The four retailers account for around 80% of the income of the block. The offices above are let to auctioneer Christie’s, recruitment firm Hays and architect 3D Reid. Ortega stepped down as chairman of Inditex in January this year, but is still said to receive 87% of his income from the publicly traded company.

Inditex is the holding company for retail brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius and others. It has 5,000 stores in 77 countries. Ortega started out aged 13 as a delivery boy for a shirt maker in Galicia, Spain. By the age of 27 he had founded his own company Confecciones Goa, which made and sold bathrobes.

In 1975 Ortega opened his first retail store, Zara, and in 1985 he founded holding company Inditex.
http://en.mercopress.com/2011/05/22/...t-end-for-220m
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 12:59 PM   #2402
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Didn't see this posted anywhere.

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London Stock Exchange mulls Nasdaq takeover

LONDON/NEW YORK — The London Stock Exchange is eyeing a takeover of its rival Nasdaq just weeks after announcing a takeover of the Toronto stock exchange, the Sunday Times reported.

Although the companies have not held talks about a three-way tie-up, LSE and its Canadian counterpart expect to make their move later this year following the closing of their own deal, the newspaper said without citing sources.

A Nasdaq spokesman declined to comment.

For now, LSE has its hands full as it tries to close on its 3.1 billion pound ($5 billion) proposed takeover of TMX Group.

Last week the two exchanges defended their transatlantic tie-up to skeptical lawmakers as they faced the first of a series of government and regulatory hurdles.

But the two exchange operators have said the combined company could go on the offensive as stock market competition intensifies internationally, especially with Deutsche Boerse in takeover talks with NYSE Euronext, and the Singapore Exchange trying to acquire Australia's ASX Ltd.

Some have speculated Nasdaq could jump into the fray, and LSE head Xavier Rolet was non-committal last week when asked whether TMX and LSE would consider a three-way tie-up.

"I can't speculate on what might or might not happen or what we could or should do," he told reporters last week.

A source told Reuters previously that Nasdaq, left out of the recent merger frenzy, was looking at its alternatives, including the possibility of teaming up with CME Group Inc or Intercontinental Exchange Inc to bid on NYSE.

But last week at the Reuters Future Face of Finance Summit the chief executives of both CME and ICE appeared to play down the possibility of a bid anytime soon.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41941374...keover-report/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...72603920110307

http://www.finance.bantolo.net/07/lo...erger-with-tsx
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 04:32 PM   #2403
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^ Thank you for posting this interesting article. What i heard a few days ago was that London is (most likely) going to take over TMX. So, does this news mean that LXE is going to take over both Nasdaq and TMX?
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 05:55 PM   #2404
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^ Thank you for posting this interesting article. What i heard a few days ago was that London is (most likely) going to take over TMX. So, does this news mean that LXE is going to take over both Nasdaq and TMX?

The LSE is the 4th Largest stock exchange in the world, behind NYSE/Euronext, Nasdaq/OMX and the Tokyo Stock Exchange respectively...

Once TMX is acquired by the London group, it will be the 2nd largest ahead of Nasdaq who is currently struggling to find a partner exchange to merge with.

If Nasdaq is still in this position (which is quite likely), then by the end of the year, a much more powerful LSE could probably take over them as well pushing the LSEG up next to the NYSE/Euronext group who is being bought by Deutsche Börse this year.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:40 PM   #2405
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Old May 24th, 2011, 03:05 AM   #2406
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Developers eye boom in London office demand

It's been a good couple of days for the London-focused property groups. Mid-cap developers Great Portland Estates and Derwent London enjoyed strong gains last week on news that the capital's office market was booming.

This upswing was expected, with analysts repeatedly pointing to a revival after projects were pulled during the financial crisis. But last week saw confirmation in the shape of updates from both Derwent and blue-chip peer Land Securities. The latter was particularly upbeat, and said it planned to embark on a speculative building spree to capitalise on the expected shortage in office space.

In Derwent's case, the news was also good. The company issued a strong update, and it launched a convertible bond,bolstering its resources to make the most of the boom. The show of strength came on the heels of some telling research from CB Richard Ellis showing that overall availability in the London office market had barely moved at the end of April, coming in at 13.9 million square feet, "a 35 per cent decrease from the market peak" back in 2009.

And although transactions were down over the month, falling to just 391,500 square feet, the lowest since February 2009, this was in line with expectations of weak activity during the first half of the year. "We expect this to give way to stronger levels of take up towards the end of the year, with pre-letting becoming more prevalent," Digby Flower, the head of CBRE's central London agency, said.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the pullback came after a strong 2010, which saw central London offices shining as the country's top-performing property market. A brief pause does not seem out of step following that performance.

For those looking for more than predictions, last week also saw some encouraging news on the lettings front, with Google UK signing the biggest rental deal of the year. The UK arm of the search engine giant sealed an agreement to rent 160,000 square feet at the Central Saint Giles development. The group will take up office space on the entire fourth, fifth and ninth floors, along with parts of the third and sixth floors, and has signed a 10-year lease.

Canaccord sees strong deal flow

Last year marked a revival for many small-cap brokers. After being bruised during the recession as deals dried up, they made a comeback as their clients regained their composure.

The TSX and Alternative Investment Market-listed Canaccord Financial is a case in point. Last week, it said that revenues for the year to the end of March had rocketed to $803.6m (£494.7m), an all-time high, and up by nearly 40 per cent on the previous period. Canaccord's London arm – known as Canaccord Genuity – also had a good year.

Though perhaps not as well know as some of the other small brokerages, the business, which employs some 150 people, is not to be scoffed at. In the year to March, revenue per head in the London arm stood at £408,000, putting it ahead of many of its better-known peers. Canaccord Genuity also stands out when you consider the growth in revenues since 2009. The gains make sense when you look at the span of their work. 2010 saw the completion of 25 transactions with a total value of £2.4bn. That included 24 financings in which Canaccord helped raise £2bn. They played a part in a number of well-known deals, including Rockhopper Exploration's placing in October.

In January, Canaccord was also involved in Petra Diamonds's placing, one of the largest-ever secondary fundraisings on Aim. It also acted on the Eastplats placing in December, and won five new retained clients over the first quarter of the year, giving it a total of 64.

As for the road ahead, analysts at Charles Stanley recently played down any concerns prompted by the postponement of three Russian IPOs, including Nord Gold, which involved Canaccord.

"While this might be seen as a cautionary point for Canaccord's London-based activities, particularly as it was co-manager on the Nord Gold issue, the company's outlook here is upbeat, reflecting benefits being seen from investment[s] made in the business, and continuing prospects of increased mergers & acquisitions, and other activity," they explained.

On another positive note, they highlighted the weighting of new issues on Aim, with oil & gas, and mining, returning to form. Canaccord, Charles Stanley said, boasts a strong reputation in both resource-related sectors.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bu...d-2287961.html
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Old May 25th, 2011, 03:16 AM   #2407
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Make submits revised plans for new Chiswick office scheme

Make Architects together with London & Bath Estates and Galliard have submitted amended plans for a scheme which is set to deliver 52,000 sq ft of new Grade A office space in Chiswick, W4.

The Chiswick ‘Octopus’, destined for a derelict spot on the Chiswick Roundabout, adjacent to the M4, was last year denied planning permission by Hounslow Borough Council who believed the eye-catching advertising space on the building was a potential risk to road safety.

Responding to the objections of the committee, Make has redesigned the scheme to reduce the height by 3m, while increasing the amount of office space and allow for a 3,500 sq ft retail showroom on the ground floor. The motorway facing advertising screen to the East has been entirely removed while the West facing screen has been reduced in size.

Commenting on the scheme, Kim Gottlieb, managing director of London & Bath Estates said: “The Octopus is an original scheme – its striking design and unique location make it a real landmark for West London and a new destination for international and local business.

“Over the past year we have taken on board a range of comments, made some significant design changes and resolved the critical issue of highway safety. I am confident that we now have a scheme that is right for Hounslow Council and for the local area. I now look forward to engaging with the Council and embarking on the final leg of the Octopus’s journey.”
Quote:
Hopes Chiswick will be squids in with Octopus building

An eye-catching building for Chiswick has moved a step closer to being realised. The designs for the Octopus office development, planned for Chiswick Roundabout, have been re-submitted to Hounslow Council.

Designed by world-renowned architects Make, it is hoped the building will become a landmark, attract high-profile firms, create about 350 jobs, all of which could boost the local economy.

The 4,800 square metres development will include office and retail space, landscaping, a rooftop public viewing gallery and an LED shroud around the building.

Kim Gottlieb, Managing Director of London & Bath Estates, said: “For one of the world’s greatest cities, a truly iconic building to mark the entrance along its premier transport route is long overdue.” The plans were resubmitted after the earlier design was refused by the council in March 2010. It was concerned that advertising space could distract drivers, especially on the M4. However, the planning committee did agree that “the site needed an iconic building and that the building itself was visually exciting.”

A public inquiry has been held into this issue which came out in favour of developers London & Bath Estates, with the Inspector concluding that there was no adverse impact on highway safety. Founding Partner of Make Ken Shuttleworth said: “Our revised design has retained its unusual, highly sculptural form but has a far more simple silhouette which we believe to be appropriate for the potential of this gateway location.”

For the full list of changes in response to comments made at the initial planning meeting, see the fact box.

The majority of residents are in favour of the scheme, highlighted by the fact 137 letters in support at committee and only eight letters of objection. The designs were previously supported by the Mayor of London, with no objection from English Heritage. The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment also supported the design, with caveats which have now been addressed by the changes made to the proposal.
http://www.london24.com/news/hopes_c...lding_1_901370

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Old May 25th, 2011, 07:57 PM   #2408
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Potato-shaped building?
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Old May 26th, 2011, 02:04 AM   #2409
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More or less so.

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Green light for West End office-led scheme

Great Portland Estates has received resolution to grant planning permission from Westminster City Council for its proposed 205,000 sq ft Hanover Square development comprising retail, residential and office space in the West End of London.



Designed by leading London architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, the proposed scheme is a comprehensive Masterplan for GPE’s 1.3 acre site bounded by Hanover Square, Tenterden Street, New Bond Street and Brook Street in Mayfair. The development will be carried out around the Eastern ticket hall of the Bond Street Crossrail station on the North-West corner of Hanover Square. GPE’s proposals for the area will provide two new buildings, and the refurbishment of the Grade II* listed Georgian building at 20 Hanover Square. The buildings will include high quality offices, international standard retail space on New Bond Street and six residential apartments on Brook Street.

Importantly GPE will also provide a new public Square as part of the proposals including new pedestrian links between New Bond Street, Brook Street and Oxford Street, to the north of the site. The existing buildings on the site will be demolished over the next two years to make way for the new development.

Neil Thompson, GPE Portfolio Director, said; “We are delighted to have received support from WCC for this unique scheme. Working closely with the WCC Planners and our development partners at Crossrail, we have secured an opportunity to deliver world class retail and office space around a new public square, and with exceptional transport links, all in the heart of the West End.”
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...meyear=May2011

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Great Portland to focus on developments

Great Portland Estates will focus on building out a 2.2m sq ft pipeline of offices to exploit conditions in a booming London real estate market that boosted the value of its portfolio by more than a quarter last year.

The flood of overseas investors looking for prime property in the capital and recovering rental values helped underpin better-than-expected results from the London specialist developer, which reported a 27.2 per cent rise in net asset value to 360p per share in the year to March 31 2011.

The company has made £370m of acquisitions since launching a rights issue to build an investment war chest in 2009, which have delivered an ungeared internal rate of return of 37 per cent. However, the rise in prices in the London market has caused Great Portland to shift focus to the delivery of its proposed developments, after having made £213m of property acquisitions last year to take net assets to £1.1bn.

The group has six schemes totalling 405,800 sq ft on site and a further 1.8m sq ft of projects in its near-term programme. On Wednesday Great Portland revealed that it had secured planning permission for a 205,000 sq ft development at Hanover Square. Toby Courtauld, chief executive, said: “We are not going to deliver the same investment returns now as we were then buying at the bottom of the market. These returns will be harder to replicate. As a result, our focus is shifting to the delivery of our major development programme.”

Even so, he said the company would continue to make acquisitions, with about £175m of deals under negotiation. He said demand from occupiers was still robust for City and West End offices, which he predicted would lead to further rental value increases given a lack of new supply.Pre-tax profit rose 78 per cent to £50.4m in 2010, excluding the property revaluation, with earnings per share of 16p, up 60 per cent on 2010. After revaluation surplus, pre-tax profit was £261m, from £156.6m last year.

The company reported a recurring pre-tax profit of £28.9m after stripping out a one-off boost from an office surrender premium, with earnings per share of 9.1p. The company secured a new debt issue of £159.7m in April, which took cash and undrawn facilities to £518m. The shares closed the day up 2.8p at 413.1p.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/010cb058-8...#axzz1NOEVTreu
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Old May 26th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #2410
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London & Stamford sees places to spend war chest

LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) - British property investor London & Stamford (LSP.L) said it saw investment opportunities in retail, logistics and London residential for its 1 billion pound war chest, after reporting a rise in 2010 net asset value (NAV).

The company, which moved from the London Stock Exchange's junior AIM market to the main board last October, said its EPRA NAV per share for the year to March 31 was 122.4 pence a share, up 1.4 percent from 120.7 pence a year ago.

EPRA, the European Public Real Estate Association, has set a number of reporting standards for property companies.

"We see the potential for outperformance in the central London residential market, the distribution sector and in prime retail investments as exciting opportunities for the further investment of our 1 billion pounds of firepower," Executive Chairman Raymond Mould said in a statement.

London & Stamford said its revaluation surplus, including share of associates, was 51 million pounds, down 50 percent from 101.9 million the previous year.

The group said it had significant cash balances and that, when taken with committed but unspent funds from Green Park Investments and assuming 65 percent gearing, it had 1 billion pounds available to invest.

It reported 1.5 billion assets under management.

Net income was 41.8 million pounds, up 160 percent from 16.1 million the previous year, due to three portfolio acquisition during the year, the group said.

It proposed a final dividend of 3.3 pence a share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 6.3 pence a share, up 43 percent from 4.4 pence last year.

London & Stamford was formed in 2007 to invest in cut-price UK commercial property opportunities thrown up by the global financial crisis. It was the brainchild of veteran real estate entrepreneurs Patrick Vaughan, Humphrey Price and Mould.

London & Stamford said in November it had secured 100 million pounds of equity funding from Middle Eastern partner Green Park Investments for its joint venture, taking its total commitment to 300 million, and undrawn investment to 180 million.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...74P09620110526
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Old May 26th, 2011, 05:19 PM   #2411
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London to become 'electric car capital of Europe'

London electric car-charging scheme launched


A scheme that will allow electric car users to charge their vehicles across London has been launched.

Members of Source London who have paid the £100 annual fee are now able to use any of the points.

Earlier this year, mayor Boris Johnson announced plans to install 1,300 charging points by 2013, scaling back from the 7,500 he promised a year earlier.

But the Green Party said the mayor's electric car ambitions had "gone flat".

Source London is a network of charging points across London which can be accessed by plug-in electric car users who have registered.

'Air quality benefits'
Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson said: "The mayor never explained how he would fund the ambitious plans for 25,000 charging points which he launched with a big fan-fair in 2009.

"He has also failed to guarantee that the charging points will run on renewable energy, so the environmental gains are far less than they should be."

Kulveer Ranger, from the mayor's office, said: "The mayor has been leading the national charge on electric vehicles having championed them in London for the past three years since his election.

"There are obvious and immediate air quality benefits to the increased use of electric vehicles, helping us to deliver an improved quality of life for Londoners."

There are currently 2,100 plug-in electric cars registered as exempt from the congestion charge, according to the mayor's office.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13548854
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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #2412
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Great Portland Estates to build 2.2m sq ft by 2014

Great Portland Estates is dramatically ramping up building and refurbishment activity on its London property portfolio.


The developer confirmed up beat results for March 2011 and revealed it has access to £518m in cash and debt facilities to fund construction of new London offices.

The developer is working on six schemes, five in the West End and one in Mid-town. It will now ramp up its construction and refurbishment programme to start further schemes by the end of 2012, giving a near-term programme of 2.2 million sq ft that could be delivered by 2014.

Beyond that, the pipeline includes a further 10 projects, taking the total programme of 3.1 million sq ft, covering 52% of the firm’s existing portfolio.

Toby Courtauld, chief executive, said: “It will be more challenging to generate the sorts of returns we have achieved from acquisitions made over the past 18 months. As a result, our focus is shifting to the delivery of our major development programme.”

The staged upgrade of City Tower, Basinghall Street, EC4, remains on track with the enhancement to the lifts part complete and Portland is finalising the design for the office floors and entrance lobby.

At 240 Blackfriars Road in London, Great Portland has revised the planning consent at the 235,400 sq ft development scheme with the aim of starting on site in the second half of 2011.

Demolition has started of existing buildings owned by The 100 Bishopsgate Partnership, a joint venture with Brookfield Properties, to prepare the way to start a pre-letting campaign for this 955,300 sq ft project.

At Hanover Square, it has signed a Masterplan development agreement with Crossrail/Transport for London to deliver a major 205,400 sq ft office, retail and residential scheme following the completion of the Crossrail Bond Street station.

The developer said it was also preparing schemes at Walmar House, Regent Street, and Fetter Lane in London for a potential start over the next 12 months.
http://www.constructionenquirer.com/...sq-ft-by-2014/


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British Land - creating a masterplan for one of London's most deprived areas

From inspirational artwork and a children's theatre to community spaces and greener homes and offices, British Land has worked with partners to create a masterplan for a deprived central London area.


British Land - winner of the Guardian Sustainable Business built environment award.

An Anthony Gormley statue stares at its own reflection and a pavilion of light shimmers at passers-by come day or night. Children's plays are showcased in a purpose-built theatre and at last, an isolated inner city community is put back in touch with the park on its doorstep.

For two decades, property developer British Land has been working with one of London's most deprived communities to create a masterplan for 13 neglected inner-city areas that would satisfy commercial, community and environmental needs.

Public art, theatre and better access to open spaces in this busy commercial district have transformed local residents' quality of life to such an extent that British Land has won praise from a number of community leaders.

"This is an excellent partnership that will continue to grow" – Nasim Ali, leader of Camden council.

Ali, also a local councillor for Regent's Park ward, says, "British Land's genuine commitment is not just about the look and feel of Regent's Place, but the area as a whole. This has resulted in meaningful relationships, leading to real community benefits. This is an excellent partnership that will continue to grow and make a difference to the lives of local people."

Gormley's trademark human figures are arguably the most recognisable public art in this landmark redevelopment.

But the London-based architectural studio, Carmody Groarke, won a Royal Institute of British Architecture award for its commission – Regent's Place Pavilion – made of a field of steel rods that reflect sunlight and project light at night.

Art for a community

British Land has used the development to showcase other leading contemporary artists, including Julian Opie and Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell as well as Liam Gillick. In association with the Slade School of Fine Art it also ran a competition for students, won by Sion Parkinson, whose yellow wrought iron gates are on permanent display in Longford Street.

As well as a free open air gallery, west Euston residents also benefit from the state of the art 80-seat New Diorama Theatre which won the Peter Brooke award in its first year; refurbishment of the Samuel Lithgow Youth Club; and 90 more affordable homes.

In the next phase of development, there will be another 15,000 sq ft of new community space, including accommodation for Diorama Arts, the West Euston Partnership and the One Stop Shop for employment and training.

The masterplan also included a new public space – Regent's Place – that is used for performances and markets. This plaza will be doubled in size in the next phase.

Better landscaping and pedestrian links have made a marked difference to local people – there is a new east-to-west pedestrian route through the estate linking Regent's Park to Euston Station and the first new pedestrian crossing over the Euston Road in 10 years, plus 66 new cycle spaces.

When architect and urban planner Terry Farrell was commissioned to draw up the masterplan in 2003, west Euston was one of the most deprived areas in Camden, with neighbourhoods amongst the 5% most deprived in England. British Land was a founding member of the West Euston Partnership – a group of community, voluntary, public and private sector organisations.

Affordable housing

The completed phase of the masterplan includes two new office buildings and a residential building with 62% affordable housing. In 2010, British Land began construction of the final phase, the north-east quadrant (NEQ), due to be completed in 2013.

As the relationship with Camden council shows, British Land takes its corporate responsibility seriously and this is reflected in the goals for Regent's Place. From design to construction, the project team has been expected to apply the highest standards of ISO 14001 certified sustainability brief for developments. As a consequence, all the new office buildings have Breeam "excellent" sustainability ratings.

From fit-out to property maintenance the developer has worked with occupiers and on-site teams to use natural resources efficiently, with a waste guide and sustainability brief for management – leading to 8% less like-for-like energy use since April 2010.

When the masterplan is complete, the Regent's Place estate will double in size, providing 2m sq ft of office, retail and residential space for 14,000 workers and residents. What an opportunity, then, for a showcase site with sustainability at its core.

Environmental gains

In fact, the new buildings are up to 50% more carbon efficient than even current standards demand because of a range of measures: combined heat and power (CHP), enhanced air tightness, heat recovery, high-performance glazing, motion and daylight sensors, and electronic energy monitoring, as well as photovoltaic roof panels which will generate over 15,000 kWh of clean power each year.

The development is expected to use 2.4m litres less water through rainwater harvesting for landscaping, cutting mains water use in common parts by around 9% annually and saving £5,000.

In 2009-10, energy use was cut by 17%, saving occupiers £112,000 – an emissions cut of nearly 800 tonnes. Between April and September 2010, 99% of demolition waste was reused or recycled. On top of that, 24.6% of construction materials in 2009-10 came from recycled sources.

"The new public realm in Regent's Place is amazing, and the new artworks all top quality. It has made a real difference to the area" – Jean Hurman, secretary of the Regent's Park Tenants Association.

Ecologists Arup have focused on how the development can positively improve air quality in this traffic-clogged part of the city. Arup's solution was to plant 27,000 sq ft of green roof in 2010, with another 33,000 sq ft planned in the final phase. Re-landscaping included 182 mature trees.

Judges were impressed as much by the "measurable, positive community and environmental gains" made in Regent's Place as its impressive scale, breadth and potential for replication. They remarked: "It is a clear demonstration of British Land's commitment to embedding sustainability into its core business and we felt that this strategic integration marks the company out and underpins its proactive, sector leadership stance."

It is evident the scheme goes way beyond the basics. Consultation at every stage generated local support and there have been other prizes : the prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute's sustainable communities award in 2010 and the Lord Mayor's dragon award in 2009.

British Land is the first UK property company to use a new energy optimisation system which cuts energy use at its head office by 37%. In 2010, 15 occupiers at Regent's Place signed up to the same system.

Nearly a quarter of head office staff volunteered in Camden last year, including senior managers who continued to support local community groups such as the West Euston Partnership and the Third Age Project. Ongoing volunteering projects include providing reading support for children at Netley Primary School.

"The new public realm in Regent's Place is amazing, and the new artworks all top quality. It has made a real difference to the area," Hurman says.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainabl...-deprived-area


Quote:
Bankside mulls economic and social impact of development

London's south bank around the Tate Modern museum, known as Bankside, is pioneering business and community development collaboration



Aerial view of the Tate Modern in the Bankside area of south London

Better Bankside is developing a plan in a mixed business and residential area of south London.
It is one of eight areas taking part in trials of the government's new business-led neighbourhood plans, focused in either mixed residential and business areas or industrial estates.
Areas that draft approved plans will receive the power to grant planning permissions with developers.
Peter Williams, chief executive of Better Bankside, said as a designated business improvement 300 district local companies had agreed to pay a business rates supplement to pay for improvements to the area. It also has the local residents association represented on its board.
He said the BID area already had a “area action plan”, agreed with Southwick council because the area was developing rapidly. It sits within Southwarks own plan as well as an overall development plan for London.

“It’s not quite clear to me yet how that translates into a neighbourhood plan,” he said. “What this encourages us to do is think how this place may physically change and how that benefits economic growth and how it takes account of the social impact of that change.”
Mr Williams said he hoped by involving residents and businesses early it would avoid the “adversarial” atmosphere that typically accompanies development. “It is the assumptino that development is something that needs to be treated with caution and needs to be avoided,” he said.
“I’d like to think that between the different commercial interests and residential interests we will be able to craft a way forward - so there will be more jobs but not at the detriment of other things we want to see in Bankside... green spaces for instance.”
Mr Williams said if developers align their building request with those in the Bankside plan they should be fast tracked. He also said the plans should allow for more change of use requests.
He said empty commercial buildings could be converted to residential use if there was enough new commercial space being planned. “They are dealt with on a one off basis at the moment and you would hope that through these plans we would be able to take a more macro view.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/y...velopment.html



Quote:
Ballymore Group seeks planning for massive London development

SEAN Mulryan's Ballymore Group has applied for planning permission for a massive new London development including 3,500 apartments and houses, and a new "high street and town square".

The planning application, which is likely to involve an investment of several hundred million euro, comes weeks after Ballymore agreed a business plan with NAMA.

A spokesman for Ballymore didn't respond to queries on whether NAMA had agreed to fund the new London development, dubbed 'Minoco', while a spokesman for NAMA also declined to comment.

It is understood, however, the state loans agency would be likely to at least co-fund Minoco, since the development is in a prime area of London.

NAMA has already advanced about €280m in working capital to developers with projects in the UK, and the agency has ample headroom to extend further working capital to viable developments.

In a statement, Ballymore said the development detailed in yesterday's planning application could be a "catalyst for the whole area" of Minoco Wharf.

Ballymore owns about 70 acres around Minoco; the application covers the first 41 acres of that site.

Ballymore said it hoped to begin marketing the scheme "toward the end of 2011".

The first units should be occupied by 2013.

Apartments

The application describes plans for "3,500 residential units in a rich mix of houses, mansion blocks and apartments".

Ballymore has traditionally been known for high-end apartment developments. A spokes-man didn't respond to queries on whether the Minoco development would be scaled back for post-recession England.

Other elements of the scheme include "shops, doctors, dentists, cafes, restaurants, a nursery school, a primary school and a community hall", centred around a new high street.

The site is located about 10 minutes from Canary Wharf and five minutes from London City Airport. It also benefits from the new 'Enterprise Zone' designation with simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and tax breaks for businesses.

One of NAMA's 10 largest clients, Ballymore prides itself on being "different" from other Irish developers because of its heavy focus on projects overseas.

Developments on the drawing board include a mixed retail, office and entertainment complex in Berlin and several other projects in Britain.

Despite its diversification away from embattled Ireland, Ballymore's most recently filed accounts showed heavy losses at several of its companies.

UK-based Ballymore Properties Ltd lost £223.8m (€256.7m) in the year to March 2010 and closed the year with debts of £650m.

Irish-based Ballymore Residential made pretax losses of €45.9m over the same period.

It's difficult to get a complete picture of the Ballymore Group as its ultimate holding company is unlimited and does not have to file detailed financial statements.
http://www.independent.ie/business/i...t-2656510.html
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Old May 27th, 2011, 01:08 AM   #2413
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Burberry invests £20m in London as profits rise 40pc

Luxury goods retailer Burberry will spend £20m on doubling its store space in London in time for the Olympics. The retailer confirmed plans to aggressively reinvest in its domestic market – a strategy first revealed in The Sunday Telegraph last month – as it reported a 40pc increase in full-year pre-tax profit.

But despite the bumper performance and news of its UK investment, shares in the company fell by 4.5pc to £12.60. Analysts attributed the fall to investors taking profits after a stunning increase in the share price. Burberry's shares have risen by 116pc over the last year, compared to a 17pc gain in the same period for the wider FTSE100.

Angela Ahrendts, Burberry's chief executive, said the company is relocating its flagship store on London's Regent Street, increasing the size of its Knightsbridge shop and has recently opened a Burberry Brit store in Covent Garden. The company is also pumping money into high-profile locations such as Chicago and Hong Kong. The move is in marked contrast to its strategy over the past year, when the business invested in emerging markets.

Over the year Burberry increased its retail space by 36pc and the average selling space in its shops rose by 9pc. It focused openings on markets such as Brazil, Mexico and India. Ms Ahrendts said that emerging markets account for 16pc of wholesale and retail revenues, up from just 6pc in 2008. China in particular saw strong sales growth. Asia Pacific will account for half of Burberry's sales over the medium term.

Overall, the company said that sales over the year to March 31 rose by 27pc to £1.5bn. Pre-tax profit rose 40pc to £295.7m. Total capital expenditure this year will be £180m to £200m. Burberry will pay a final dividend of 15p on August 4, taking the total dividend to 20p, up 43pc. Nick Bubb, retail analyst at Arden Partners, said that Burberry's results are "predictably excellent but have been met with profit-taking after the strong run in the shares".

Richard Hunter, head of UK equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: "The shares have inevitably succumbed to some profit taking, despite having posted a strong set of numbers as trailed in its trading update last month... For the moment Burberry remains a rare and notable example of a retailer enjoying a stellar growth trajectory."

However, he added that "on the downside", Burberry's expansion will "pinch" profit margins over the coming year, "whilst the company remains exposed to changes in demand for luxury goods, which in turn is connected to global economic health".
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...rise-40pc.html
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #2414
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Jersey firms help Battersea Power Station development

A trio of Jersey law firms have played a pivotal role in a deal that will see the development of London's Battersea Power Station get underway.



Law firms Ogier, Carey Olsen and Mourant Ozannes were all involved in the financial restructuring of Jersey property investment fund Real Estate Opportunities Plc (REO) and its subsidiaries so that funds can be raised for what will be the biggest ever Central London development of its kind.

The masterplan for the development of the iconic, Grade II listed landmark, will see the creation of over 3,400 new homes, 1.7million square feet of office space and 1.5 million square feet of other commercial uses including hotels and cultural, leisure and conference facilities.

The collapse of the Irish and European property markets during the 2008 economic downturn adversely affected REO’s asset values and impacted on its ability to finance future developments and repay existing liabilities.

On August 31 2010, REO’s portfolio was valued at circa £1 billion, but with total indebtedness of over £1.7 billion it had net liabilities of circa £750 million.
Lawyers worked to restructure REO’s contractual obligations to all its external stakeholders and restructure the group’s balance sheet and equity so that the Battersea Power Station project could proceed.

Campaigners for the preservation of the 1930s coal-powered station fear that the development will alter the iconic design and involve the removal of the chimneys - a claim dismissed as nonsense by developers, who insist they will remain intact.

The station's celebrity owes to numerous cultural appearances, which include a shot in The Beatles' 1965 movie Help! and being used on the cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals.

Chairman of REO, Ray Horney, said: "We are very pleased to announce the restructuring process which commenced in May 2010 has now been implemented.

"The conclusion of this process is yet another step towards realising our plans for the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/p...velopment.html
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:44 PM   #2415
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London to be new capital of Swiss banking?

The investment banking arm of the Swiss bank is reportedly planning to up sticks and move to the UK - to escape heavy regulation by the Swiss authorities...


Bankers may have made something of a hobby of insisting that if the Government dares to impose on them any further, they’ll be on the next flight bound for foreign climes – but that argument could be about to become something of a non sequitur. According to reports (alright, speculation), UBS, one of Switzerland’s largest banks, is thinking of moving its investment banking operations over to London – in order to avoid heavy regulation by the Swiss government…

UBS has, naturally, already denied it as ‘pure speculation’, but according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the bank is planning to move to either London, New York or Singapore. That’s because it wants to avoid strict new rules outlined by the Swiss government, stipulating that to protect taxpayers from having to shell out for future bailouts, banks must hold capital equivalent to at least 19% of lending. Which, despite its reputation for fiscal leniency, is one of the highest capital requirements in the world. Not for nothing are Swiss bankers called ‘prudent’.

UBS is known for being a particularly risk-loving organisation, so it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the Swiss government was keen to have its investment banking operation, arguably the riskiest part of the company, outside its jurisdiction. Having become one of the keenest buyers of mortgage-backed securities (based on sub-prime mortgages) in the mid-2000s, it required a $60bn bailout in October 2008, the largest of any European bank.

In many ways, to the Swiss government, it’s win-win: the bank does most of its investment banking outside Switzerland, concentrating on retail banking and wealth management in its native country. So it’s not like it will be a huge loss to the nation.

But why London, given that its regulations and capital requirements are expected to tighten, too? We don’t yet know which of the banking commission’s recommendations are going to be implemented – or, indeed, how – but chances are, they’ll still be more lenient than Switzerland’s. Although we’re not sure what UBS’ 15,000 investment bankers will make of the UK’s 50% top-level rate of income tax…
http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/new...swiss-banking/


Quote:
Ritblat's Delancey makes £194m offer for Minerva

Minerva, the property developer that counts the Walbrook building in the City of London as one of its developments, has received a £194m cash offer from a consortium including Jamie Ritblat's Delancey investment firm.

Delancey and the real estate fund manager Area Property Partners have put forward a possible offer of 120.5p per share – a premium of more than 20 per cent to Minerva's 99.25p closing price on Wednesday. Minerva's shares jumped 15 per cent to 113.75p when the announcement was made.

News of the bid comes after the company announced in January that it was in discussions regarding possible offers for the business, whose developments also include the Odeon Cinema building in Kensington and the Ram Brewery in Wandsworth.

Subject to certain conditions, Minerva's board said it expected to recommend the offer.

Mr Ritblat is well known in property circles and is the son of the former British Land chairman Sir John Ritblat. He took Delancey private in 2001.

Today, the firm, which counts George Soros among its investors, boasts a portfolio of properties that includes the Rolls building in Fetter Lane, in the City of London. Mr Ritblat's consortium, which made its approach through a special-purpose vehicle called Jupiter Properties 2011, may yet face competition, however, with a number of other property investors rumoured to be interested in the company.

Possible counter bidders include Apollo Global Management, the private equity firm which has been said to have had its eye on Minerva. Other potential suitors include the Whitehall property funds run by the Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, and Limitless, a unit of Dubai World, which made an abortive cash offer for the group in 2008.

The Limitless proposal was followed by an offer from KiFin, a vehicle backed by the South African property magnate Nathan Kirsh, which also failed with 50p per share approach in late 2009.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bu...a-2289658.html
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:46 PM   #2416
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Should reinforce the need for the new UBS headquarters.

Quote:
UBS sets sights on London for its investment banking

London could become the official headquarters for UBS's investment banking operations as the bank overhauls its structure to protect Swiss taxpayers from any future bailout.

But moving its investment bank to London, New York or Singapore could mean UBS losing out on future dealmaking because it would not be able to make full use of the parent company's balance sheet. Switzerland is planning to introduce one of the toughest regulatory regimes in the world demanding that its banks hold far more capital than either European or American regulators have planned.

UBS described the report in the Wall Street Journal as "pure speculation" but did not deny it.

Chief executive Oswald Gruebel has previously said that draconian Swiss regulation could force the bank to move some of its units abroad. UBS holds almost all its capital in Switzerland but has 80% of its assets in other countries. The bank does very little investment banking in Switzerland where its main operations are in retail, commercial banking and wealth management. By decoupling the investment bank and moving it to a more lenient home it could reduce the amount of capital it is required to hold.

UBS had the biggest state bailout of any European bank when the Swiss government injected $60 billion in October 2008.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...ent-banking.do

Quote:
London to be new capital of Swiss banking?

The investment banking arm of the Swiss bank is reportedly planning to up sticks and move to the UK - to escape heavy regulation by the Swiss authorities.

Bankers may have made something of a hobby of insisting that if the Government dares to impose on them any further, they’ll be on the next flight bound for foreign climes – but that argument could be about to become something of a non sequitur. According to reports (alright, speculation), UBS, one of Switzerland’s largest banks, is thinking of moving its investment banking operations over to London – in order to avoid heavy regulation by the Swiss government.

UBS has, naturally, already denied it as ‘pure speculation’, but according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the bank is planning to move to either London, New York or Singapore. That’s because it wants to avoid strict new rules outlined by the Swiss government, stipulating that to protect taxpayers from having to shell out for future bailouts, banks must hold capital equivalent to at least 19% of lending. Which, despite its reputation for fiscal leniency, is one of the highest capital requirements in the world. Not for nothing are Swiss bankers called ‘prudent’.

UBS is known for being a particularly risk-loving organisation, so it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the Swiss government was keen to have its investment banking operation, arguably the riskiest part of the company, outside its jurisdiction. Having become one of the keenest buyers of mortgage-backed securities (based on sub-prime mortgages) in the mid-2000s, it required a $60bn bailout in October 2008, the largest of any European bank.

In many ways, to the Swiss government, it’s win-win: the bank does most of its investment banking outside Switzerland, concentrating on retail banking and wealth management in its native country. So it’s not like it will be a huge loss to the nation.

But why London, given that its regulations and capital requirements are expected to tighten, too? We don’t yet know which of the banking commission’s recommendations are going to be implemented – or, indeed, how – but chances are, they’ll still be more lenient than Switzerland’s. Although we’re not sure what UBS’ 15,000 investment bankers will make of the UK’s 50% top-level rate of income tax.
http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/new...swiss-banking/

Render of the planned office complex at 5 Broadgate.

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Old May 28th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #2417
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Merchant Square

by gothicform.





























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Old May 31st, 2011, 12:32 AM   #2418
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Quote:
Ballymore submits Minoco Wharf plans

http://ballymoregroup.com/developments/minoco

Ballymore has submitted a planning application to build 3,500 residential units at the Royal Docks enterprise zone in London. The 41 acre site at Minoco Wharf will house up to 20,000 people and promote jobs in the green and creative industries as part of its designation as an enterprise zone.

The firm said it hopes the scheme will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider area.

Sean Mulryan, chairman and group managing director at Ballymore, said: “The Royal Docks represents a unique opportunity in London to create a new piece of living and working City representing a 21st century version of the great Georgian and Victorian developments of West London”.

The application describes plans for "3,500 residential units in a rich mix of houses, mansion blocks and apartments".Ballymore has traditionally been known for high-end apartment developments. A spokes-man didn't respond to queries on whether the Minoco development would be scaled back for post-recession England.

Other elements of the scheme include "shops, doctors, dentists, cafes, restaurants, a nursery school, a primary school and a community hall", centred around a new high street. The site is located about 10 minutes from Canary Wharf and five minutes from London City Airport. It also benefits from the new 'Enterprise Zone' designation with simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and tax breaks for businesses.

The scheme will be marketed in late 2011 with the first residents arriving in 2013.

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Old May 31st, 2011, 02:26 AM   #2419
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oh yeah!
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Old May 31st, 2011, 01:29 PM   #2420
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Quote:
City office scheme welcomes Virgin Active and Jampur Group

Virgin Active is to open a new 40,000 sq ft gym in the basement of a City office scheme owned by Helical Bar at 200 Aldersgate.

The self-contained facility, with its own entrance adjacent to the office reception, will comprise two fitness studios, a swimming pool, indoor cycling and over 10,000 sq ft of gym floorspace.

Meanwhile, Jampur Group has signed up for 1,750 sq ft of accommodation on the 16th floor of the refurbished scheme which totals 371,000 sq ft of office space in the City of London. Helical Bar was advised by CB Richard Ellis; Masons acted on behalf of Virgin Active.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...meyear=May2011

Quote:
Rare new Midtown office refurbishment gets underway

On behalf of the Charities Property Fund, Cordea Savills has appointed Midtown specialists Farebrother as letting agents for Denning House, 90 Chancery Lane, London, WC2. The 30,000 sq ft property is undergoing a major refurbishment to its six floors, which will complete in December 2011, bringing much needed high quality office space to London’s Midtown.

Harry de Ferry Foster, Fund Director said: “We have seized the opportunity to significantly upgrade this asset and re-release the property back into the Midtown market as the HMCS’s new court facilities open and vacancy rates remain at a low level.”

Alistair Subba Row, Managing Partner at Farebrother commented: “Office supply in Midtown has been falling for the last three quarters and will continue to fall in 2011 as take-up remains solid. Developers and investors should feel confident that new and refurbished space will let well.”

Chancery Lane itself has just undergone a £1m public realm facelift supported by The Chancery Lane Association with local businesses, Camden Council, The City Corporation and Transport for London. In close proximity, the new Commercial Courts at The Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, EC4 are due to open this summer.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...-Gets-Underway
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