Helical signs contract to partner with Transport for London on commercial office portfolio joint venture

12 July 2023

Further to the announcement on 15 February 2023 that Transport for London (TfL)'s wholly owned commercial property company had selected Helical as its preferred investment partner for its sustainable commercial office portfolio across central London, contracts have now been signed confirming Helical as the joint venture partner. 

The partnership will see the delivery of new high-quality and sustainable office space above or close to London Tube stations, which currently consist of three new commercial office developments at Bank, Paddington and Southwark, totalling c. 600,000 sq ft. All three sites have full planning permission to deliver sustainable commercial office developments that provide exceptional workplaces and positively impact the local community.

Matthew Bonning-Snook, Property Director at Helical, commented: "As more organisations are recognising the important benefits of staff collaborating through being physically together in the office, London faces a shortage of tech enabled, highly sustainable space with excellent amenities. In partnership with TfL, we look forward to delivering an initial c. 600,000 sq ft of the very best offices in what remains Europe's pre-eminent financial and cultural centre."

Scott Anderson, Head of Property Development at TfL, said: "With more people returning to London to work following the pandemic, we look forward to investing in many of central London's best-connected places to create a portfolio of enjoyable, healthy, innovative, and highly sustainable offices.  This new joint venture complements our wider commercial development programme, which will see us deliver thousands of new and affordable homes in London, and generate additional revenues, to help fund a safe, green and reliable public transport network."

The three schemes are:

·      Bank Over-Station Development - located above the new station entrance on Cannon Street, this eight-storey development, along with a basement, will include both office and retail space, measuring around 140,000 sq. ft. Net Internal Area (NIA), external terraces on fifth, sixth and seventh floors and a green roof. A start on site is envisaged next year.

·      Paddington Over-Station Development - located by Grand Union Canal and close to the new Elizabeth line station at Paddington, this 19-storey building currently has permission to deliver new office and retail space measuring around 235,000 sq. ft. NIA. It will include a canal side reception and use a ground and air source heat pump system. A start on site is anticipated in 2026.

·      Southwark Over-Station Development - located above Southwark Tube station on the Jubilee line, this 17-storey hybrid timber building is set to be one of the greenest and healthiest large-scale commercial buildings in the UK. Measuring around 220,000 sq. ft. NIA, it will provide a mixture of commercial office space and retail space and has external terraces on most floors. It is expected that construction would start in 2025.

The joint venture company will purchase leasehold interests in the sites from TfL and establish individual property companies for each of the sites. The sites will then be developed directly by the company, which is to be funded with equity and debt. Other properties and development opportunities may in the future be acquired by the joint venture, expanding the partnership's portfolio, subject to feasibility and assessment.

The buildings will be constructed on the basis of Net Zero Carbon and the joint venture will collaborate with tenants to target a rating of BREEAM Outstanding and Platinum WELL v2 Core.

The sites will also fully incorporate a focus on active travel options for occupants, with the three sites providing almost 900 cycle spaces collectively. Combined with their proximity to the public transport network, these new developments will encourage those who occupy the buildings in the future to travel sustainably.

·     The equity joint venture split is 51% Helical and 49% TfL

·     TfL's and Helical's commitment to building a greener London is also reflected in the publication of TfL's Sustainable Development Framework. Published in 2021, the framework, which is closely aligned to both TfL's Corporate Environment Plan and the Mayor's Recovery Programme, sets out TfL's approach to driving positive social impact, promoting economic development, and embodying environmental stewardship across its developments - tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/property-policies

·     London Stock Exchange-listed Helical specialises in developing and owning the highest quality office buildings in central London. It seeks to provide the most attractive and sustainable workplaces with market leading tenant amenities and the most up to date building technologies to enable forward looking organisations to prosper.

·     Transport for London is taking forward its development activity through a commercial property company that is wholly owned by TfL, but financed independently of the transport network. The programme will see new commercial office developments and thousands of high-quality new homes, including affordable housing, built on its land across the capital as well as investment in its current commercial asset base.

For further information:

  • Matthew Bonning-Snook
    Property Director
    Tel 020 7629 0113
  • Tim Murphy
    Tel 020 7629 0113