Great Portland Estates hails strong lettings demand despite fears over Brexit

Kasmira Jefford
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Great Portland is poised to start work on its Hanover Square development above where the Bond Street Crossrail station will be (Source: Great Portland)

Great Portland Estates said strong demand for its offices helped it to strike another 15 lettings in the third quarter despite increasing uncertainty ahead of the EU referendum.

The West End-focused developer has had a busy three months after signing Italian fashion giant Benetton to its flagship store at 73-89 Oxford Street and leasing the last two remaining floors at 240 Blackfriars Road, a 19 storey office tower on the Southbank.

The 15 lettings made in the last three months of 2015 will generate an annual rent of £8.5m, taking to the total secured this year so far to £29.3m. Four rent reviews were also settled in the quarter, securing £6.2m.

Great Portland is in the process of building out its largest pipeline of schemes in its history, with nine developments spanning 856,700 sq ft currently underway, of which 59 per cent has already been let or sold ahead of completion.

It is poised to start work on its Hanover Square development over Bond Street Crossrail station and has also submitted plans in the period for Oxford House. The 11 storey building sits next to its vast 2.3 acre Rathbone Place development site, which was pre-let to Facebook in September.

Great Portland struck a double deal with German fund manager Deka-Immobilien last month after selling Savills' headquarters at 33 Margaret Street in the West End for £216m and buying 50 Finsbury Square. It also sold off a building that shares its name, 60 Great Portland Street, for £102m.

Chief executive, Toby Courtauld, said: "London's economy continues to grow. Whilst we expect increasing uncertainty ahead of an anticipated referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU, today the level of tenant demand remains good for the limited quantity of available office and retail space, particularly in our core West End market. As a result, we can expect further pre-lettings and healthy rates of rental growth."

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