Minerva values rise but lettings remain elusive

PROPERTY developer Minerva remained tight-lipped over possible tenants for its Walbrook and St Botolph developments yesterday, as it reported a 6.2 per cent rise in net asset value.

The London-focused firm made £10.4m profit in the last six months of 2010, while the value of its properties rose 3.2 per cent to £1.2bn

“Our short term priority is to lease our City properties, finish and sell Lancaster Gate and consider a joint venture for the Kensington Odeon side,” chief executive Salmaan Hasan told City A.M.

Lancaster Gate, a luxury residential development near Hyde Park, is 60 per cent let, Hasan said, with almost all of the retail space at the St Botolph office block now pre-let.

Industry insiders said this week that Santander was in talks with Minerva to take space in the Walbrook, but Hasan declined to comment on whether the bank is still interested

He told City A.M. that there has been renewed interest since the start of the year, putting the number of potential tenants in the “mid-single figures”.

Minerva also said takeover talks with an unnamed possible bidder were ongoing, but refused to reveal any details.