British REITs Round-Up: Hammerson Seeking Planning Permission for Residential Project

on Sep 18, 2013
Listen, Wednesday, September 18: Hammerson Plc (LON:HMSO) and Dublin-based Ballymore Properties Ltd plan to seek planning permission for a proposed development of homes, offices and retail space on a 10.5-acre site near London’s Old Street Roundabout technology hub within 12 months.

Britain’s third largest REIT and the Irish developer are working on a 280,000 square-metre development proposal for the Bishopsgate Goods Yard according to a December filing to Companies House. The two companies jointly bought an option to acquire the site in 2002.
“Where can you find 10 acres of vacant land, a stone’s throw from the City of London, at the heart of the emerging tech belt and with Brick Lane and Shoreditch on your high street?” Hammerson’s Chief Executive Officer David Atkins said in a September 6 interview, as quoted by Bloomberg. He added that retail would be a very important component of the development.

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As many as 2000 homes, retail outlets, office buildings and leisure facilities may be built on the site in question, the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney said in a 2010 planning document.
Atkins also talked about the complexity of the site, noting elements such as arches, underground lines and railway lines that have made it challenging for development in the past. But “[w]e think we have a plan,” he said.

The area is very attractive, with residential property values there growing at a faster pace than in central London, according to real estate consultants Knight Frank. Data compiled by the broker shows a 14 percent rise in the year through July.
**Derwent hires contractor for London residential scheme**
Derwent London (LON:DLN) had appointed McLarren Construction to develop its £9.4 million residential scheme at 96-98 Bishops Bridge Road, industry website Construction News reported on Monday. The 29,579 square feet residential project was already under construction, the website said.

“This marks a further step for McLaren in the development of the premium private residential sector,” Phil Pringle, managing director of McLaren Construction said, as quoted by Construction News.
!m[The Site Located near the City of London](/uploads/story/5554/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
“Following on from the successful completion of seven luxury apartments in Portland Place, London W1, we have continued to secure prime residential schemes and are delighted to be working with Derwent London on the conversion of this historic building,” he added.
McLaren will develop a five-storey building featuring 16 luxury apartments, including a penthouse, and two retail A1 units located on the ground floor.
**The Hammerson share price was down 1.53 at 496.30p as of 15:03 BST on 18.09.2013**
**The Derwent share price was down 2.29 percent at 2,308.00p as of 15:05 BST on 18.09.2013**


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