St James, part of the Berkeley Group, has acquired a 10 acre site in White City, London, from Marks & Spencer (M&S) for a sum in the region of £100m (to be paid over three years). The 10 acre site is currently an M&S storage warehouse. It will now be transformed as part of a major regeneration project, featuring extensive parklands, with the potential for 1,300 new homes.
The site forms the heart of a much larger regeneration programme led by major institutions including Westfield, Stanhope and Imperial College London. M&S has agreed a three year leaseback on the property, allowing it time to relocate to more modern premises.
Tony Pidgley, Chairman of the Berkeley Group, comments: "St James will use all its expertise in place-making to create a fantastic new location, with a public park, improved connections and homes for thousands of people. I am delighted to secure this important strategic site for West London."
Sir Keith O'Nions, President and Rector of Imperial College London, said: "With St James' acquisition, the major landowners in the White City Opportunity Area now have an exceptional opportunity to move forward with the comprehensive regeneration of this strategic site. Our new campus there, Imperial West, will anchor world-class research and innovation in the area, creating brand new facilities for the public, and generating major job opportunities. We are delighted that St James and neighbouring investors will also make significant contributions to improving the local economy and community. We look forward to working with St James, Hammersmith and Fulham and the GLA to help realise the area's outstanding potential."
Peter Burns, Executive Director of CBRE's central London Development team, says: "This deal allows M&S time to undertake a relocation, whilst releasing a significant piece of the jigsaw of one of London's most exciting regeneration areas. The development sits within a larger regeneration zone, and the residential element will attract considerable interest due to its central London location and phenomenal educational, retail and leisure attractions."
Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning, added: "This is an extremely positive step forward in the regeneration of White City which is set to deliver thousands of new homes. We have ambitious plans for this area's wider development, seeking to build on its heritage, attract further investment and create jobs. I welcome St James Group's contribution to this exciting vision."
CBRE acted for the vendor, M&S.
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Notes to editors:
White City Regeneration area
The White City regeneration area spans some 60 acres with Westfield having completed phase 1 of their shopping centre to south, the BBC site being promoted by Stanhope to the East and Imperial owning the rest of the land to the north of M&S land. The area benefits from exceptional transport links with both underground, over ground and significant road links nearby. The latest draft opportunity area planning framework published by the GLA in June 2013, identifies the area for 4,500 new homes and 10,000 new jobs with a new public park on the M&S site.
About Imperial College London
Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts over 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.
Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges. www.imperial.ac.uk
About St James Group
St James was established in 1996, originally as a joint venture with Thames Water. It has established a reputation as a design-conscious developer, able to transform derelict sites into beautiful, successful places. Some of its recent London developments include Riverlight on Nine Elms, Roehampton House and Grosvenor Waterside.
St James is a member of the Berkeley Group. The Berkeley Group was voted Britain's Most Admired Company across all industries in 2011 and has been ranked Britain's most sustainable major housebuilder for the last seven years in a row by the Next Generation benchmark. In 2012, the Berkeley Group sustained 16,000 jobs and generated £2.6 billion of economic activity in Britain.