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London Victoria, in the London Borough of Westminster, is the next area upon which Land Securities Plc has its eye. The company hopes to convert a tower currently used as offices in the area into an apartment building.
In contrast with the rest of the UK, residential prices in the capital rose more than 10% in the past year – with a huge increase in Westminster of almost 39%. A recent study puts the average home in the borough as £1.9m.
Planning permission has been passed for Land Securities’ potential project, which, it is anticipated, could make the company £230m in profit, and which fits with the current trend in the capital – where residential space is becoming significantly more valuable than commercial space. This could become the company’s most profitable development.
The building, Portland Tower, is 330 square feet of space and will be added to Land Securities’ portfolio which includes valuable property in the affluent areas of and around St James Park, Belgravia and Victoria.
Sally Brough, Associate Director of Morgan Pryce, comments, “This is another project which seems to indicate that the property situation in London is steadily improving. Of course, it could put pressure on the commercial market in the area with the loss of office space – but hopefully if further commercial developments are soon in the pipeline, it may be a win-win situation for all sectors.”
The planning committee passed the application, on the condition that Land Securities provides 63 below-market-value homes in the area and puts £12.5m towards other affordable homes.
Morgan Pryce is a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.