Helical sells London office building for GBP48.5m

90 Bartholomew Close, London

Helical has agreed the sale of a London office building for GBP48.5 million, as part of its joint venture partnership with hedge fund The Baupost Group.

The recently completed six-storey property, 90 Bartholomew Close, has been sold to La Francaise Real Estate Partners International (LF REPI), a pan-European investment business acting on behalf of a French collective real estate investment vehicle. The disposal price of GBP48.5 million reflects a net initial yield of 3.92 per cent (GBP1,594 per sq ft capital value).

The building provides 24,013 sq ft of office space, as well as a 6,414 sq ft restaurant which is occupied by the award-winning LINO, all housed behind an attractive retained Victorian façade. The five office tenants span a range of industries including law, software design and business consultancy. The total headline rent roll of GBP2,031,224 per annum reflects an average of GBP76.26 per sq ft on the office accommodation.

According to Helical, the building delivers BREEAM Excellent, bike storage and shower facilities, and offers “contemporary and stylish office space to businesses attracted to Barts Square’s contrasting attributes of a new urban quarter together with its excellent connectivity”.

Gerald Kaye, CEO of Helical, comments: “Despite operating in a constrained environment, the timing of this sale reflects my firm belief that the attraction of good quality London real estate for international capital will continue. 90 Bartholomew Close is an integral part of the Barts Square estate as it forms a recognisable landmark ‘gateway’ to the newly created public realm and retail offering. We look forward to continuing working closely with LF REPI to ensure the estate goes from strength to strength.”

Peter Balfour, investment director of LF REPI, adds: “90 Bartholomew Close marks the milestone of our first acquisition in the UK on behalf of La Francaise funds and signifies the intention to grow our assets under management in the UK real estate market. We are pleased to have purchased a key building in Helical’s Barts Square estate and anticipate good growth prospects associated with the completion of new developments nearby. 90 Bartholomew Close makes a good addition to our group’s portfolio of EUR23 billion in assets under management.”

The Helical and Baupost joint venture acquired 90 Bartholomew Close in 2011 and redeveloped the area in three phases. Barts Square is a three-acre, mixed use development located between St Paul’s and Smithfield. Comprising 236 high quality apartments, circa 250,000 sq ft of office space over three buildings and 10 retail and restaurant units, it is also a short walk from the new Farringdon East Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) station, due to open in 2021. 

Helical was advised by Ingleby Trice and Fineman Ross. JLL acted for La Francaise Real Estate Partners International.