Secret millionaire Nick Leslau has purchased St Katharine Docks in London for £156 million. The entrepreneur plans to refurbish the six buildings near Tower Bridge, beginning with the London office building Commodity Quay, in a bid to lure financial firms from the City.
Multi-millionaire Nick Leslau has purchased St Katharine Docks in London for around £156 million.
Leslau’s Max Property Group teamed up with a South African family trust to purchase the freehold estate for £330 per sq ft. The entrepreneur, who appeared on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire, plans to refurbish the six London office buildings near Tower Bridge in a bid to lure financial firms away from the City.
St Katharine Docks consists of around 46,450 sq ft of office, restaurant and retail space around London’s only marina. Leslau believes he can reduce the 12% vacancy rate the development currently has and hopes to rent the office space (which is currently just 80% leased) for around £35 per sq ft or more.
The property tycoon, who also boasts Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds in his property portfolio, plans to start refurbishing the estate’s main London office building, Commodity Quay, when current tenants news groups Thomson Reuters and Dow Jones move out in 2012.
Following this, Leslau plans to have the London office building back on the market in 2013. Although away from the traditional City environment, he feels confident that the development will be able to attract a number of key brands.
Using The Shard as an example he said, “It’s no longer vital to be in the Square Mile. You no longer have to be in a cluster of office buildings to get grade-A space. It is difficult to imagine a more beautiful place to work and live in central London. Being in a tower block is very different to being in a marina.”