The London investment and development portfolio continues to contribute the greater proportion of capital growth and development profits. In the year to 31 March 2016, London provided c. 80% of the total property return of £170.6m (2015: £155.3m).
Since 2010 we have steadily acquired property in two “clusters”; the Tech Belt districts of Farringdon, Shoreditch, Aldgate and through to Whitechapel and the West London districts of Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush and Chiswick.
At The Bower EC1, we have acquired the outstanding 2/3rd interest from our joint venture partner Crosstree Real Estate Partners LLP (“Crosstree”), of the buildings known as The Warehouse (122,858 sq ft of offices, 5,404 sq ft of restaurant use) and The Studio (18,283 sq ft of offices, 4,894 sq ft of restaurant use). Construction work on these two buildings was completed in November 2015 and both are fully let at average office rents of £55.00 psf and £43.85 psf respectively. In addition, we have acquired The Tower at 207 Old Street, a 179,000 sq ft refurbishment and extension of the existing building on which work has commenced and is due for completion Q1 2018. At £248m, this purchase is our largest ever acquisition and strongly reaffirms our belief in the London office market. The remaining buildings at The Bower, being Empire House and the retail parade, were sold by the joint venture to Standard Life and Crosstree respectively.
At Barts Square EC1, our scheme in joint venture with The Baupost Group LLC, we have now exchanged contracts for sale at an average of £1,580 psf on 102 of the 144 residential units with a further two units reserved in phase 1 of the development which is due for completion in summer 2017. The office development of 212,858 sq ft at One Bartholomew Close EC1 has been forward funded with clients of Ashby Capital, is currently under construction and is due for completion in July 2018.
Our 272,426 sq ft office development at One Creechurch Place EC3, equity funded with our joint venture partner HOOPP (Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan) is expected to complete in September 2016. C-Space EC1 completed its refurbishment in October 2015 and is 75% let at an average rent of £56 psf. At 23-28 Charterhouse Square EC1 we have commenced construction works, due to complete in Q1 2017 on a refurbishment which will comprise 38,500 sq ft of offices and 5,100 sq ft of retail/restaurant use. Our 112,000 sq ft listed building at The Loom, Whitechapel E1 is now undergoing a comprehensive refurbishment and is due for completion in September 2016.
There has been substantial growth in rents at our West London properties. At Shepherd’s Building W14 we have completed the lease renewal and increased the space let to our largest tenant Endemol, increasing the rent by £1.25m pa, with average rents for the building now £45.75 psf. At One King Street W6 following the completion of the refurbishment works, we have achieved a benchmark rent for the area of £55.00 psf. We have added to our portfolio with the acquisition of Power Road Studios W4, 62,000 sq ft of offices over five buildings acquired for £34m.