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Freshwater held a dilapidated 30,000 sq ft empty property in a prime position on Cavendish Square. The client’s objective had been to secure a pre let, which given the size of the building was a challenging proposition, despite coming close on one occasion. Therefore, as planning and development advisors to Freshwater, our challenge was to persuade them that the speculative redevelopment of the building was the best course of action.
A detailed presentation on the dynamics of the West End Office market, incorporating future development pipeline, was made to Freshwater to highlight the opportunity open to them through rapidly rising rents largely as a consequence of extremely low vacancy rates. A number of Grade A buildings in the West End had achieved pre lets during their construction phase and this was to be our stated objective.
After lengthy consultation, including a revised planning consent, Freshwater decided to proceed with a speculative redevelopment of the entire building to provide 32,000 sq ft of offices, together with a 1 bedroom residential apartment. The development would complete the final portion of the grand terrace to the north of the square, forming part of the magnificent Harley Cavendish Estate of the 1700s. Throughout the construction period rents continued to rise as predicted, ultimately resulting in securing Chevron UK as a tenant for the entire building on a long lease at a rent close to £100 per sq ft. Our client thus secured a long term income stream and created a valuable investment, as well ascompleting a fine piece of London’s architectural heritage.