London Developer Says Offices and Retail Developments Have Been Letting Up Strongly

GPE, the central London focused developer and investor, said strong leasing had continued into 2023 as it published an update for the quarter to 31 December 2022.

Toby Courtauld, chief executive, said a strong quarter has seen it secure its largest prelet at 2 Aldermanbury Square with law firm Clifford Chance, while it had made substantial progress leasing the remainder of its retail space at its Hanover Square and 70-88 Oxford Street developments.

Courtauld added that robust demand for the best spaces in central London meant the group was confident in the “attractions of our highly sustainable, flexible, tech-enabled spaces in a market where high quality product is increasingly scarce”.

GPE signed 29 new leases and renewals generating annual rent of £34.3 million (its share: £33.1 million), with market lettings on average 2.1% ahead of March 2022 estimated rental value.

Alongside the 321,000-square-foot 2 Aldermanbury Square prelet on a 20-year term there are six fitted and two fully managed leases signed, for an average £196 per square feet on the fully managed space, and 7.1% ahead of March 2022 estimated rental value. There were 11 new retail leases securing £4.6 million of rent with market lettings 12.6% below March 2022 ERV, including a large letting to Polish fashion chain Reserved at 70-88 Oxford Street, W1.

The total space covered by new lettings, reviews and renewals was 438,000 square feet.

Another £2 million of rent is under offer, with market lettings 20.1% ahead of March 2022 ERV.

Ninety-nine percent of rent charged was collected within seven working days for the month of January.

GPE expects to practically complete 50 Finsbury Square, EC2 in the coming week, with the lease to Inmarsat, and sale of the building, completing shortly afterwards.

In total, GPE has now signed 629,100 square feet of new lettings since the start of the financial year (1 April 2022), generating a combined annual rent of £50.9 million.