City makes another move on Shoreditch

CityShoreditch: East London Line bypasses City (& Shard in S Lon) as it goes N to Dalston Junction 26 July 2013 © david.altheer@gmail.com

THE MARCH of City money towards Shoreditch continues, raising the question of whether it can maintain its creative status. Or will small technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) have to look elsewhere for affordable offices?

British Land has announced that it is to redevelop the Shoreditch Estate in the Elder Street Conservation Area around Tower Hamlets E1 6DB.

The three sites covering 2 acres fronting on to Shoreditch High Street and Norton Folgate. The sites will be rented from the City of London Corporation (the City’s versdion of an adminsitrative  council).

British Land said the project would be aimed at “the more-established” TMT occupiers seeking “highly specified, character offices and wishing to capitalise on the sites’ close proximity to the Liverpool Street Crossrail station due to open in 2018”.

More than 30 office buildings on short leases occupy the 0.8-hectare (2-acre) site. The developer believes the estate could fit almost 30,000 sq m of office, retail and residential space in new and refurbished buildings.

Since the estate is in a conservation area, the development needs a sensitive approach to design, says British Land, so it has hired London architect AHMM to draw on its “extensive experience in this field”.

Tim Roberts, of British Land, said: “We remain positive about the outlook for development in London and expect this investment to generate good returns for our shareholders.”

Michael Cassidy, who chairs the Corporation’s property investment board, said it was  “delighted to be involved in this redevelopment with British Land. It will enable the Shoreditch Estate site to be regenerated over the coming years and play a key role as this exciting area of London continues to change”.

BL is likely to pay the Corporation more than £40 million once the development is completed then buy a 150-year leasehold in the site.

Hamish Scott 120813

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