Crown Estate signs £320m deal with Canadian pension fund

City A.M. Reporter
BRITAIN’S Crown Estate has signed a £320m joint venture with Canada’s Oxford Properties to redevelop London’s upmarket St James’s Market district, the two companies said yesterday.

The Crown Estate, which manages the Queen’s property portfolio, said the deal creates a 50-50 partnership in which each will own 150 year leasehold interests in two blocks located between London’s Regent Street and Haymarket district.

The scheme is part of a ten-year plan to redevelop the St James’s Market area, and will provide 210,000 square feet of prime office and 50,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space once finished.

The Crown Estate is by law not allowed to take on debt and previously signed a joint venture with Norway’s $660bn oil fund to finance the redevelopment of shopping belt Regent Street.

Oxford Properties, which is part of Canadian pension fund Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, has been on a spending spree in the London market and recently snapped up the home of the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square for £235m.