TfL and Great Portland row over new site

City A.M. Reporter
GREAT Portland Estates clashed with Transport for London (TfL) over the amount the London landlord was paid for two buildings that will make way to build Crossrail’s Bond Street station.

TfL paid the property developer £35.9m for 18 and 19 Hanover Square via a compulsory purchase order last month.

However, the business insists the properties are worth closer to £60m.

Great Portland chief executive Toby Courtauld said: “We need to make sure that the shareholders get the right figure.”

He added: “We are vigorously pursuing Transport for London and we expect further payments.”

Courtauld says he is prepared to take the matter to the Land Tribunal – an independent body founded to resolve such disputes – if this initial selling price is not raised.

A Crossrail spokeswoman said: “We paid Great Portland 100 per cent of our valuation for the property. Since then we have started negotiations on the difference between our valuations.”

The Bond Street site will be a key station in Crossrail’s £16bn East-West rail link.

Meanwhile, yesterday Great Portland Estates upped the tempo of the UK property recovery yesterday after tipping a return to rental growth in 2010 and posting its highest quarterly portfolio gain since 2006.

The company posted an 8.7 per cent rise in the value of its £1.2bn property portfolio in the last three months of 2009 as a thirst for yield among cash-rich buyers pushed well-let commercial real estate back to the top of investor wishlists.