Brunswick buys Croydon offices for £1bn workplace venture

Properties comprise nearly 191,000 sq ft of office space

Condo, Building, Housing
  • What Brunswick Property Partners buys Knollys House and Stephenson House for Akoya
  • Why BPP is acquiring sites in London’s suburbs in the hope of tapping into the desire for people to work locally in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • What next Around £5.25bn of development expenditure is planned in Croydon over the next five years

Brunswick Property Partners has bought two adjoining offices in East Croydon for £32.7m for Akoya, its newly-launched £1bn London neighbourhood workplace venture.

The offices have been bought from UBS Asset Management Real Estate & Private Markets.

BPP has acquired the long leaseholds of Knollys House and Stephenson House in Addiscombe Road, next to East Croydon station, and in the centre of Croydon’s business district.

Arranged over 11 and seven upper floors respectively, Knollys House and Stephenson House comprise 190,987 sq ft of office space, which is multi-let to 23 tenants, providing a passing rent of £4.2m a year, equivalent to £21.99/sq ft. The weighted average unexpired lease term is 3.5 years to expiries and 2.1 years to breaks.

Tenants include the British Medical Association, the British Transport Police Authority, Mitsubishi Electric Europe, Reed Specialist Recruitment and the office for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The acquisitions increase the size of Akoya’s portfolio to eight properties with a value of around £230m. They follow the purchases at the end of last year of Carlson Court in Putney from the international business of Federated Hermes for £23m and 111-115 Salusbury Road in Queens Park from a private investor for £16.5m.

BPP launched Akoya in September 2020 to provide sustainable workplaces for creative businesses in London’s suburbs, tapping into the desire for workers in Greater London to work locally in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jamie Acheson, senior director of BPP, said: “This is the sixth acqusition we have made for Akoya, our suburban London workplace strategy. We will comprehesively ‘upcycle’ the buildings, providing high- quality space, with affordable rents and wellness at the heart of our plans”.

Gijsbert van Riemsdijk, head of transactions EMEA at UBS Asset Management, said: “The sale of this property supports the fund’s focus on core, income-accretive assets and, therefore, we intend to utilise the proceeds of this sale to progress our ongoing acquisition strategy.

“Croydon represents a sensible opportunity for investors, with over £5.25bn of development expenditure planned over the next five years. The property’s immediate vicinity is currently undergoing regeneration, including the redevelopment of local buildings to improve rail connections between Brighton and London, and the development of more office space in the area”.

BPP was advised by Montagu Evans and UBS Asset Management was advised by TT&G Partners.

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