L&G to forward-fund new UK government office facility in Stratford

Legal & General has agreed to forward fund the construction of a new office facility at 14 Westfield Avenue in Stratford, London, which has been pre-let to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to establish a new HMRC regional centre in Stratford.

The development is being undertaken by Unibail-Rodamco Westfield.
Acquired from Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, this deal represents Legal & General’s seventh Government hub forward funding deal. The lease agreement with HMRC also supports the GPA’s Hub Programme. 14 Westfield Avenue is located immediately south west of the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre and immediately north-east of the TfL building, which was also funded by Legal & General and the Olympic Aquatic Centre on Westfield Avenue.
Scheduled to be ready for occupation in late 2020, the grade A office building will comprise approximately 300,000 sq ft of high quality office and ancillary accommodation set out over ground and 12 upper floors. The building has been designed to provide generous amenities and includes 358 cycle spaces with changing and storage provision. HMRC has taken a 25-year lease.
Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE and HSF acted for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. Macfarlanes and JLL acted for Legal & General.
Tom Roberts, Head of strategic investment at Legal & General, says: “This deal is the latest in a line of successful acquisitions of such Government backed investments which have now surpassed the GBP1 billion mark in the last year. This is a strong achievement for the team here at Legal & General serving to make a valuable contribution towards matching our continued appetite for secure long income investments. We are delighted to be partnering with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield on this development and are firm believers in Stratford’s excellent fundamentals as evidenced by our existing ownership of the nearby TfL building and are thrilled to add this investment to our portfolio.”
Peter Miller, COO UK/Italy/Benelux at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, says: “The new office development in Stratford currently under construction is a compelling offer with a pre-let to HMRC. Stratford is a firmly established office destination in London with superior transport connections and transformational investment which has led to the regeneration of the area. It’s home to one of the UK’s leading retail, shopping and leisure destinations, Westfield Stratford City which sits alongside new residential including our plans to create over 1,200 new homes and further office developments. The plans for the East Bank at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with new culture and education venues add to the attractiveness of the area.”
Steven Boyd, Estates Director at HMRC, says: “The development at 14 Westfield Avenue is a high specification office space in a growing area of London and close to great public transport links. When it is built, the new building’s quality environment and high speed digital connectivity will allow our staff to work collaboratively with other teams enabling us to become a tax authority fit for the future. We expect to start moving staff into the new building in 2020.”