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Derwent plots new property projects as market recovers

PROPERTY company Derwent London plans to spend more than £260m on new projects in the capital after an improvement in the rental market.

The FTSE 250 firm, which specialises in revamping offices in West End locations, unveiled its plans yesterday as it reported a narrowing in annual pre-tax losses for 2009.

The company expects capital expenditure on projects to reach £63.5m this year with a further £200m to follow in 2011 and 2012.

Projects to be undertaken include Victory House in Fitzrovia, and a 280,000 sq ft redevelopment at Hampstead Road.

It posted a £34.9m loss in 2009, against £606.5m a year earlier.

The company operates in London’s “middle” office rental market, where rents range between £30 and £50 per square foot, compared with the £100-plus record rents achieved before the real estate market nosedived in 2007.

Chairman Robert Rayne said: “Economic indicators have yet to demonstrate a sustained recovery but rents within our Central London villages have virtually stabilised.”