Fore! (well two for now) On Friday 7th July Mr Close and I will be hosting a fourball at The Richmond Golf Club’s annual corporate charity day. This is always a great fun event with an early breakfast, shotgun start, then late n long lunch. This is an open invitation to regular readers of Overheard in the BWV to come and join us. First come first serve (or drive 🤔). Email Andy or Simon
WeWork Inc stated last week that it had received a non-compliance notice from the New York Stock Exchange, due to its stock closing below $1 over a consecutive 30 trading-day period. Shares of the flexible workspace provider continue to slide. The company will have six months to regain compliance. The company had benefited from the shift to flexible working practices outside traditional offices driven by the pandemic but has been feeling a pinch from mass layoffs across the tech sector and shares have fallen over 65% year to date. Since their surging growth through the 2010s WeWork has been trying to focus on more profitable leasing deals in recent years. WeWork says it is considering a number of available alternatives to cure its non-compliance. Currently, however, WeWork’s penny stock status precludes a range of possible investors as their value is too low to meet their investment parameters.
The Ambassador’s Party? Whilst tapping away in the corner of the office on a new section for our website I overheard our Mr Close talking on the phone about his role as a “Brand Ambassador” for The Original Gunner. I know what a “Brand Ambassador is as I met David Sole many years ago when he acted likewise for Balvenie Malt Whiskey. The Original Gunner, however. only conjured up thoughts of that Commercial Property doyen Mitch Lawrence. I have been duly re-informed and share with you here
Planning permission has been granted at 21 Bloomsbury Street for the refurbishment of these 86,000 sq ft Central London offices. The refurb is to be undertaken by Morgan Capital on behalf of Capital 38 who acquired the building in 2012 for an undisclosed sum and will give the building a gross development value of circa £150m. Work is due to start in the third quarter this year and will see an atrium café/lounge, rooftop café/event space, building wellness studio, 174 cycle spaces, 112 lockers and 17 showers and a feature cycle entrance. Simon Morgan, investment and asset manager of Morgan Capital, said “Twenty One will set a new benchmark for how existing buildings can be sustainably reimagined to provide the exemplar buildings of tomorrow, providing the performance and amenity to compete with the very best new builds, whilst achieving aspirational levels of low embodied carbon through 95% retention of the existing structure.”
Central London investment has rebounded in the first quarter of 2023 following the lowest levels of investment on record. This signals the start of a recovery in volumes and is thanks to an influx of Asian money. The £1.65bn investment in central London offices in Q1 was more than double that of Q4 2022 heavily led by Asian capital, making up 74% of all purchasing activity in Q1 2023. Major deals included Malaysian firm Gamuda’s £257m purchase of Winchester House; the £395m acquisition of St Katherine Docks by CDL; GIC’s £1bn joint venture at Tribeca in King’s Cross; and Japanese firm Obayashi’s purchase of 60 Gracechurch Street for around £160m. Ed Bradley, CBRE’s head of London capital markets, said that “following a sharp repricing of office values in Q4 2022, we are once again seeing significant interest from Asian investors, both established groups as well as new entrants. “We expect Asian investors to lead the rebound in investment [...]
Failed your Test This week its Mr F’s turn again to flag some marketing of note We can assure you we did not open your last email, nor did we shout around the office to ascertain if anyone knew who Test First Name was! Haven’t shown the whole email in the pic to save the potential blushes of the sender - suffice to say it was signed off by a Marketing Director!