AshbyCapital, the real estate investment company, has closed deals worth around £450m on behalf of its group investment company.
AshbyCapital has made its first investment outside London with the purchase of Colmore Plaza, a 310,000 sq ft prime office building in Birmingham’s city centre. The building, which is two-thirds let to tenants including Vodafone, Hogan Lovells, Amey and AHR, has been purchased from The Carlyle Group; AshbyCapital intends to increase occupancy through repositioning and asset management of the building. The acquisition is the largest deal in the Birmingham property market this year.
The deal follows the recently announced partnership with Helical Bar to develop the offices component of Barts Square, the new three-acre mixed-use quarter in London’s Farringdon. The new-build, 200,000 sq ft sustainable office building designed by Sheppard Robson will be a central part of this major scheme, which incorporates new public spaces as well as retail, restaurants and residential in a range of new-build and refurbished buildings. The office building will complete in 2018, coinciding with the arrival of Crossrail at nearby Farringdon station.
Peter Ferrari, Chief Executive of AshbyCapital, said:
“These two deals highlight our approach of investing in the best assets in locations where demand is strong and growing. The success of our investment in 200 Aldersgate, which is now fully let, demonstrates the strong dynamics of the Farringdon area, which is set to become even more desirable with the additional amenities brought by the wider Barts Square development, the arrival of Crossrail and the redevelopment of Smithfield Market.
“The limited supply of Grade A office buildings in Birmingham, the improving transport links through HS2 and the expansion of companies such as Deutsche Bank and HSBC in the city mean prospects for high quality buildings such as Colmore Plaza are very promising. As the major regional cities such as Birmingham and Manchester continue their strong recovery, we continue to be interested in opportunities in prime, central locations in these markets.”
Nicky Barker, Associate Director at The Carlyle Group, said:
“Having secured a number of new leases at Colmore Plaza, we are delighted to complete this sale to AshbyCapital in what is one of the largest regional deals of the year so far.”
Gerald Kaye, Director at Helical Bar, said:
“We are very pleased to be partnering with AshbyCapital on the offices component of our Barts Square development which is set to play a major role in the transformation of the already improving Farringdon area.”
AshbyCapital was advised by JLL for Colmore Plaza and Savills for Barts Square; Cushman & Wakefield advised The Carlyle Group; and CBRE advised Helical Bar.