Former Royal Mail sorting office has new lease of life
Redesigning a former industrial post sorting office into 100% let office space in London and advising on the sale of the largest single asset real estate investment in the West End
The Post Building
302,000 sq ft mixed-use redevelopment
In excess of £600 million
The Post Building had seen better days. Once, the Royal Mail’s sorting office, this was an industrial building in what was perceived to be an overlooked location about to benefit from significant investment and regeneration.
We believed in its potential and worked closely with our clients to turn it into a world class mixed-use office and retail development.
How we worked together
Brockton Capital and Oxford Properties instructed our team to provide the design vision and development advice needed to transform the space and deliver a landmark scheme.
Traditionally, London’s Midtown is a changing sub-market, often seen as less glamorous than the City or West End areas. Our understanding of the intricacies of this changing market enabled us to demonstrate the potential that this building offered.
The Post Building is located in the heart of five key central London sub-markets, Covent Garden, Soho, Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury and Holborn. The area is benefitting from large scale investment, including Crossrail (the Elizabeth Line), Europe’s largest infrastructure project. It is expected to bring an additional 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes’ travel of Central London.
The building comprises 273,000 sq ft of flexible and highly specified grade A office space with unparalleled floor to ceiling heights of 3.7m–6.2m and one-acre floorplates. The Post Building also offers 29,000 sq ft of retail accommodation with 135m of prominent frontage, benefitting from high levels of footfall, and 21,000 sq ft of outdoor amenity, including 7,500 sq ft rooftop garden and private terraces.
The Post Building offers a resilient, future-proofed design and is highly sustainable with BREEAM Excellent, LEED Gold, EPC B and WiredScore Platinum Awards.
From the outset we aimed to pre-lease a significant amount of the building. We implemented a strategic pre-leasing campaign focusing on significant space uptakes of 50,000 sq ft and above.
With comprehensive space planning exercises using computer generated imagery and a user guide, the entire building was pre-let (65%) or under offer to investment grade covenants on long leases prior to completion and we set a record rent for the sub-market in the process.
Global consultancy firm McKinsey & Company have occupied 127,000 sq ft as their new London headquarters, Rothesay Life pre-let 49,000 sq ft and Nationwide committed to 91,000 sq ft, and 1Rebel, the boutique fitness operator, also took 9,000 sq ft across the ground and mezzanine floors.
Following the successful pre-leasing campaign, we undertook a restricted sales process and successfully sold the building on behalf of Brockton Capital and Oxford Properties for in excess of £600 million, representing the largest single asset real estate investment in the West End of London.
We advised on a range of elements as part of the evolution of this property including the options for the development, debt refinancing, and sale.
By using our experience and market knowledge, we were able to advise occupiers and investors on the unique and rare qualities that The Post Building presented. Our understanding of Crossrail and local investment meant we were able to demonstrate how the immediate area will be transformed. Our teams used their vision to help create a hi-spec modern, flexible work environment that has been able to attract high calibre clients and resulted in the successful pre-leasing and sale of the building.