New City tower for Hammerson

Hammerson has changed the plans for its Bishops Place development on Shoreditch High Street in London, reports the Telegraph, and now wants to develop a 591,000 sq ft office building on the site that will have some of the largest floorplans in the capital at 40,000 sq ft, alongside a tower containing 243 apartments. The Telegraph notes this £350m scheme will “drive expansion of the Square Mile beyond its traditional boundaries”.

The mixed-used project, designed by Foster and Partners, is now called Principal Place. The newspaper says it is understood that Hammerson will seek a pre-let before starting work on the development, and may also look for a partner on the residential part of the scheme. It quotes Martin Jepson, London managing director, as saying: “The evolution of the scheme means we can now offer a high quality differentiated office product to City occupiers at a time when there is modest supply for this type of building.” Hackney council is expected to decide on the planning submission by the summer. The development is due for completion in 2014.

Hammerson earlier this week announced to the London Stock Exchange that it had purchased a portfolio of retail assets from St Martins Property Investments for £208m, including the 65,000 sq m Centrale town-centre mall in Croydon; the 9,000 sq m Monument Mall in Newcastle; the 13,000 sq m Elliot’s Field retail park in Rugby; the 17,000 sq m Three Spires shopping centre in Lichfield; the 6,000 sq m Cathedral Lanes shopping complex in Coventry; and a 4,000 sq m Wickes retail unit in Folkestone. It said the yield on purchase price, after taking account of vacancy charges and other direct costs, was 7.0%, and noted it saw scope for value creation through the rejuvenation of the Croydon, Newcastle and Rugby assets. Hammerson also bought the remaining 75% of the Central Retail Park in Falkirk this week for £69m from its partner TIAA-CREF.