Transport for London has chosen listed London developer Helical as its preferred investment partner for its commercial office portfolio across central London. The decision is subject to contract negotiations and a 10-day standstill – or cooling off – period. The partnership will develop “high-quality and sustainable” office space above or close to Tube stations at Bank, Paddington and Southwark with all three sites have full planning permission.
Bank: above the new station entrance on Cannon Street, this eight-storey development, along with a basement, will include both office and retail space, measuring around 140,000 square feet net internal area external terraces on fifth, sixth and seventh floors and a green roof. A start on site is envisaged next year.
Paddington: located by Grand Union Canal and close to the new Elizabeth line station at Paddington, this 19-storey building currently has permission for new office and retail space at around 235,000 square feet NIA. It will include a canalside reception and use a ground and air source heat pump system. A start on site is anticipated in 2026.
Southwark: above Southwark Tube station on the Jubilee line, this 17-storey hybrid timber building is set to be one of the “greenest and healthiest large-scale commercial buildings in the UK”, according to TfL. Measuring around 220,000 square feet NIA, it will provide a mixture of commercial office space and retail space and has external terraces on most floors. It is expected that construction would start in 2025.
The joint venture company will purchase leasehold interests in the sites from TfL and establish individual property companies for each of the sites. The sites will then be developed directly by the company, which will be funded with equity and debt.
This partnership is part of TfL’s wider development activity, via TTL Properties, which should see thousand of homes, including affordable housing, built on their sites across the capital. This is something TfL had previously been in talks with Apartments for London over.