Welput secures £400m financing for Victoria office scheme

Welput secures £400m financing for Victoria office scheme

Welput, the specialist central London office fund managed by BentallGreenOak(BGO), has secured a £400m development finance facility to fund the construction of the UK’s largest all-electric net zero office scheme at 105 Victoria Street in Victoria, London.

Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers, has co-invested alongside existing Welput investors in the development, said BentallGreenOak in a statement.

Allianz Real Estate has provided £200m of the £400m development finance facility which will partly fund the construction of the scheme. The completed development will be able to accommodate office demand ranging from 4,000 sq ft up to almost 450,000 sq ft.

Planning consent for the West Ed office project was received from the Westminster City Council in April 2021.

The project’s funding coincides with BGO’s appointment of Skanska as the main contractor to deliver the scheme. Work is expected to start on site in July 2022, with completion targeted in Q2 2026.

According to the statement, the development, which will be managed by BGO, reflects its leadership in the sector will go well beyond industry standards for sustainability, the 500,000 sq ft building will not only be operational net zero, but achieve net zero embodied carbon using innovations in ultra-low carbon construction to minimise the carbon intensity of the development such that the carbon emitted will be offset within six years of the new building’s operations in comparison to the retention and refurbishment of the existing building.

”Not only will the building be the largest all-electric office in the UK, but BGO has committed to the development’s energy being supplied from fully renewable sources, with no gas supply and no diesel generator on site, ensuring zero fossil fuels in operation and during construction. As a result, the building is designed to meet EPC A and WELL ‘Platinum’ certification and exceed RIBA 2030 sustainability targets as well.”

The scheme is also the UK’s first office building to target a combined BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and 5.5* NABERS rating, the world-leading environmental performance rating tool which rates the operational energy use of offices.

Ker Gilchrist, Managing Partner at BentallGreenOak said: “PSP Investments’ commitment, alongside existing Welput investors’ in 105 Victoria Street, demonstrates an ongoing commitment to London and an absolute confidence in its future as a global hub. This project is surpassing the existing and emerging standards for green development, with a comprehensive whole life carbon approach. The building will achieve net zero in construction, then operation, and after just six years of its lifespan will be net beneficial to the environment. To deliver this ultra-sustainable building and attract the next generation of aspirational tenants, we have secured a significant financial deal with partners that stand shoulder to shoulder with us on our commitment to ESG and who bring a strong track record in projects of this nature.”

Designed by architect Kohn Pederson Fox, alongside interior architect Henning Larsen, 105 Victoria Street will create a new kind of community-focused, experiential building in Victoria, providing up to 450,000 sq ft of world-class workspace, including 5,500 sq ft dedicated to incubator and affordable space, and over 30,000 sq ft of retail space, all designed to foster the health and wellbeing of its end users.

It will also provide almost 30,000 sq ft of greenspace and terracing – the largest of any commercial building in the West End and equivalent to 10 double tennis courts – which will include a 200m ‘walk and talk’ track and an urban farm with community allotments.

Dedicated space to serve and connect the community will cover 90,000 sq ft, with a central Village Square provided at street level, providing inclusive public space and serving the neighbourhood needs with a considered retail offering that is aligned with the sustainable and community focused ethos of the building.

Welput, is also developing an extensive programme with the local community and stakeholders to ensure the building provides benefits to the local area, including providing dedicated flexible space for community use, engagement programmes with local schools and initiatives to support disadvantaged groups.

Stéphane Jalbert, Managing Director and Head of Asia-Pacific and Europe, Real Estate Investments, PSP Investments, said: “PSP Investments is pleased to establish this new partnership with BGO and Welput on what will be UK’s largest 100% electric net zero office building. This fossil-fuel-free development aligns with PSP’s strategy to invest in sustainable buildings that have a positive impact on the community and better position our London portfolio for the future.”