Gherkin Co-Owner: “Now is the time” to Buy London Offices Properties
The co-owner of the Gherkin, the City’s iconic property which is also known as 30 St Mary Axe, has said that “the time is right” to buy more office properties in London.
Evans Randall Ltd are set to make their biggest investment in three years, by purchasing offices in the City, in Drapers Gardens, for a price tag of around ┬ú250m.
The 270,000 sq ft office property at Drapers Gardens is currently home to asset manager BlackRock, which are committed to a 25-year lease.
According to Bloomberg, Evans Randall is expecting to spend as much as ┬ú1.5bn in a year to buy more central London office properties, and is using the rising demand for modern Grade A space as the impetus.
“Now is the time to buy the best quality assets if we can get our hands on them,” said Michael Evans, the investment bank’s founder and chairman. “The pound is very weak, interest rates are at a record low, rental demand is at an exceptional level – the best at any time since 2006.”
Speaking from his London office, Mr Evans added: “London corrected more than some other markets and it has come back more quickly. We will continue to focus more on London as we feel a lot more comfortable there and the tax environment is relatively benign.”
The firm’s biggest purchase was 5 Canada Square in Canary Wharf, which they acquired for ┬ú452m in July 2007. In February of the same year, the company bought the Gherkin for ┬ú630m alongside investment partner IVG Immobilien AG.
“We are making a strategic decision about which assets we will hold in the long term and those which we feel will be less good,” he added. “The best properties will always prove to be good investments as long as you are willing to hold out for the long term.”