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Is a new development in London about to get underway?

22nd April 2013

Is a new development in London about to get underway?

JP Morgan is in advanced talks with Berkley to sell their riverside plot of land. In November 2008, JP Morgan purchased from the Canary Wharf Group a large riverside plot of land for £237 million with the idea to develop a £1.5 billion office scheme. JP Morgan saw the site as a perfect opportunity to consolidate their existing 2 million sq. ft. presence into one scheme housed on the riverside of the docklands. This unfortunately was before the global economic downturn which has meant the scheme has had to be shelved. In the meantime they decided to purchase 25 Bank Street for £500 million and consolidate all of their staff into the 1 million square foot Canary Wharf property, which previously housed the investment bank of the Lehman Brothers.

It is now understood that the site will be turned into a completely different scheme containing up to 800 flats, a hotel and retail space. The Riverside scheme, if developed, will have the longest riverside frontage in London. Alex Goode from Morgan Pryce believes that the scheme will also point to a shift in power in London Property which would strongly underline that residential values are continuing to rise in the capital at a huge pace compared to the stagnate office values; ‘We have seen in the last decade residential values continue to be double or more than the commercial property market and any opportunity a landlord gets to turn their site into residential will be quickly taken.’

At present Berkley have not put the Riverside site under offer, however with a strong balance sheet allowing them to acquire sites very quickly a decision regarding the transaction is expected imminently. It is believed the development will take the form of a joint venture partnership between several of the parties with vested interests.

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.

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