London office tower sells for £718m

London office tower sells for £718m
The Scalpel , Grade A office tower at 52 Lime Street in London Image: Courtesy of Ho Bee Land

Singapore-listed property group Ho Bee Land (HBL) has agreed to acquire Grade A office tower at 52 Lime Street in London for £718 million (S$1.31 billion).

The vendors are Berkley Insurance Company and Berkley Regional Insurance Company, said HBL in a statement.

The property group said it had paid a deposit of £35.9 million, with the balance payable upon completion on 7 March 2022.

The office tower is strategically located at the junction of Lime Street and Leadenhall Street, adjacent to The Lloyd’s of London, deemed to be the heart of London’s insurance district. The property has excellent transport links, which will be enhanced in mid-2022 when the Crossrail is scheduled to open at Liverpool Street.

Dubbed “The Scalpel” because of its sleek and geometrical intersecting reflective planes, it was designed by world renowned American architectural firm Kohn Pederson.

Fox Associates and completed in early 2019. The landmark office tower is 675 feet (206.5 metres) in height and built on a freehold site of about 0.31 hectares. From the outset, sustainability was a key pillar in the design of The Scalpel, with the building achieving a classification of BREEAM “Excellent” and an Energy Performance Certificate rating of B.

The Scalpel has approximately 406,000 square feet of best-in-class Grade A office space spread over 36 storeys and three retail units at ground and basement levels. It offers flexible and efficient floor plates ranging from 6,600 square feet to 15,800 square feet.

Pedestrian access to The Scalpel is via an impressive and prominent doubleheight reception entrance. The building is predominantly multi-let to reputable tenants from the insurance, financial, legal and technology sectors.

The long tenancies of the leases offer secure 10-yearpassing rent of £29 million translating to an attractive yield of 4%, said HBL.

Nicholas Chua, CEO of HBL, said: “London has proved to be very resilient in spite of Brexit and the pandemic. It has been able to maintain its position as a key global financial hub with a robust office investment market. We are very excited to be able to seize this rare opportunity to acquire a landmark office tower which ticks all the boxes for quality, distinction and sustainability. We remain confident of London’s long-term economic prospects and attractiveness to global investors.”

“With this acquisition, our total investment in London would increase to more than £2 billion. The Scalpel’s 10-year secure long-term income would further strengthen the Group’s recurrent income base,” added Mr. Chua.