18 Blackfriars Road £1 Billion Development Plans Revised

Hines have lodged revised plans for their office and residential towers redevelopment of 18 Blackfriars Road, following discussions with Historic England and Southwark Council

The revisions remove a floor from the office tower and cut back on floor space and also take on board Hines’s subsequent acquisition of the Mad Hatter pub and 1 Stamford Street, two Victoria Buildings at the site.

Hines, the global real estate investment, development and property manager, first lodged its plans, designed by Fosters + Partners, in August of last year.

The two residential buildings will provide over 400 homes on site 40% of which will be affordable.

There will be a  820,000 sq ft office building that aims to “provide a new form of architecture, departing from the traditional flat tower office building”. It intends to move away from an all-glass design and the office has “a series of bustles” gradually reducing in size to the top. There will be 20,000 square feet of affordable workspace for local businesses.

A podium at the base of the buildings will include retail and food outlets, office and residential amenities, cultural and performance facilities, educational spaces, as well as other flexible uses. At ground level, three interconnected spaces – the Rotunda, Hatters Yard and the playground – provide a public space.

The design aims to minimise embodied carbon and is targeting a 20% to 30% improvement against the Greater London Authority benchmark.

Hines, alongside the National Pension Service of Korea, bought the site for £208.5 million in 2021 from a 50/50 JV twixt Malaysia’s Black Pearl IGB Corporation and Tower Ray, and believes the site has a gross development value of £1 billion.

The site has had a somewhat chequered recent history. Landsec sold the vacant site to Israeli-backed Circleplane in 2007 before its acquisition in 2014 by Malaysian-backed, Jersey-registered company, Black Pearl for £114 million.  Black Pearl appointed CBRE to advise on funding and delivery options back in February of 2019.

Previous potential purchasers, Hero and Catalyst Capital, decided against progressing with the purchase for an £1 billion hotel and office development.

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