£43 million joint venture leads to new office development

By securing a £43 million investment from Brookefield Properties, Great Portland Estates are now in a comfortable position to go ahead with the construction of new London-based offices.

Brookfield Properties, which already own 22% of Canary Wharf, now have a 50% stake in the development at Bishopsgate.

Analysts, at JP Morgan Financial Services, have said that the development could cost up to £560 million and that, “The project was too big for Great Portland to comfortably do alone, in our view.

As a result, without this financial backing the development may have been put on hold.

The Bishopsgate site currently has planning permission for a 40 storey building with 770,000 sq-ft of office and retail space, and will also include a public library.

The development is expected to be extremely lucrative because within the first quarter of 2010 the demand for London office space has more than doubled.

It is therefore understandable why Great Portland Estates, and other developers such as Brookfield Properties and British Land, are constructing new offices.

Toby Courtauld, chief executive of Great Portland, said, “We are delighted to be working together with Brookfield on what promises to be a building of the highest quality in a prime City location.

Due to the buildings proposed size it is set to be one of the largest buildings in London’s financial district.

The company is thought to begin construction in 2011/12, as soon as any existing leases on the property have expired.