Ted Baker's founder Ray Kelvin and his staff have become very attached to their quirky King’s Cross offices they call the Ugly Brown Building.
So much so, the fashion brand has bought the freehold to the property, formally known as Block B, Canal Reach on St Pancras Way, for £55.25m through its subsidiary, Big Lobster, after 15 years on the site.
Despite its name, Kelvin described the building as “iconic” and “a very important ingredient of Ted Baker’s history and unique personality”.
The colourful open plan offices – which house everyone from the design team to management – are kitted out with eclectic features including a “virtual receptionist”, lifts with buttons that produce sound effects, and a mascot “wagging tail” dog in the entrance.
The acquisition, from Leysin Investments, is being financed with a £60m loan and includes an extra £3m in costs such as stamp duty.
Ted Baker said the annual rent for the building is £1.17m and a deal therefore removes any exposure to rising rent reviews.
It has also taken an option to buy 50 per cent of Block A from British Airways Property Trustees for £5.1m within the next 15 months.