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Queensgate mulls £700M London offices sale; Google's London HQ plans revived


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Real Estate News & Analysis: May Edition

Queensgate mulls £700M London offices sale; Google's London HQ plans revived

* Queensgate Investments is mulling options, including a £700 million sale, of its serviced office business in London, Property Week reported. London Executive Offices has 33 locations spanning around 745,000 square feet in Belgravia, Mayfair, Midtown and the City of London, with an occupancy rate "approaching 90%," the report said. Lazard was appointed to explore options for the company.

Reporting on the strategic review, London's Financial Times said Queensgate noted a "spike in demand" for short-term office space following the Brexit referendum.

* Google parent Alphabet Inc. has revived plans for a new London headquarters next to King's Cross railway station, and it plans to commence work on the project before the end of 2017, Bloomberg News reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. The technology giant had previously shelved plans after landing approval for a 920,000-square-foot scheme in 2013, the report noted.

* Continental Europe saw investments of €1.8 billion in the student housing sector by midyear 2016, marking a 21% increase from the same period in 2015, Property Investor Europe reported, citing Savills. The report noted that the investment figure reflects investors' shift away from the U.S. and U.K. toward continental Europe's more undersupplied market.

UK and Ireland

* Royal Bank of Scotland has completed its £198 million acquisition of the London headquarters of Coutts & Co. CoStar U.K. reported that the deal reflects a net initial yield of 4%. The bank edged out Capital & Counties Properties Plc to buy the 440 Strand building.

* Swiss Life Holding Ltd. unit Swiss Life Asset Managers is acquiring Mayfair Capital Investment Management Ltd., an independent owner-managed real estate investment management company based in London. The purchase price was not disclosed.

* In Dublin, Bayerische Versorgungskammer is believed to be in the lead for for the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre after it offered more than €600 million for the mall, The Irish Times reported. The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board was also reported to be among interested parties for the west Dublin asset when it was placed on the market in July.


* Goodman Group will develop a logistics center in the town of Marl, in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, with an investment of €200 million, PIE reported. The 235,000-square-meter facility is expected to be completed in March 2018, and it will be delivered to retailer Metro on a 10-year lease.

* FT reported on Berlin's struggles against gentrification, including local council's measures to reinforce rent controls, ban luxury renovations and Airbnb, and the consideration of large tax hikes to ward off foreign buyers. The publication said officials wish to "prevent the city [from] turning into another London."


Property firm Monthisa Real Estate snapped up retailer El Corte Inglés' department store in northern Madrid in a €150 million sale and leaseback deal. PIE reported, citing local press reports. The 17,500-square-meter shopping center, which sold for a yield of less than 4%, also contains a veterinary hospital, among other things, according to the report.

Czech Republic

Capital Economics is predicting a 14% increase in prime office capital values in Prague by the end of 2019, according to a PIE report. The city saw a 12% growth in capital values since the beginning of 2016 and 19% in the past two years, the report noted.

Middle East

United Arab Emirates Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched Emaar Properties PJSC's The Tower project at Dubai Creek Harbor, Arabian Business reported. The supertall project will be 100 meters taller than Emaar's famous Burj Khalifa tower, the report noted.

The Daily Dose Europe, Real Estate edition, is updated as of 6:30 a.m. London time. Some links require a subscription. Articles and links are correct as of publication time.