While Landsec completes the premier sale of E14 in time for the acquisition of MediaCity; HULT Private Capital explains why they turned their attention from London to Salford.
Last week we learned that the UK’s Land Securities Group PLC (LAND.L) has agreed to the sale of its Harbor Exchange portfolio, a prime commercial building on the edge of London’s iconic Canary Wharf estate. The sale, which has reportedly been set at £ 196.5million, is expected to be finalized with buyer, Blackstone Inc. (BX.N) as part of the Blackstone European Property Income Fund, before the end of the year.
News of the Harbor Exchange sale came just as they confirmed their acquisition of a 75% stake in MediaCity of Salford. MediaCity is the UK’s largest tech and media hub outside of London, with the 37-acre site quickly becoming a hotspot for head office and start-ups. Acquired at a cost of £ 423million, it is clear that Landsec is committed to further diversifying its holdings into mixed-use sites to better reflect the changing landscape of the UK.
“For a long time, Manchester was widely viewed as a prime choice for investment as it is widely regarded as England’s second largest city due to its contribution to the economy, but with the development and growth of places like Media City, it’s easy to see why the population is growing and we’re seeing bigger names in tech and media actively choosing to position themselves in Salford, ”said Mark Johnson, of the investment boutique based at London, HULT Private Capital. “Affordability, combined with the trendy location on the canal, has undoubtedly increased the levels of desirability in Greater Manchester. The fact that the University of Salford campus is on-site, alongside the BBC and ITV Granada, makes it a very attractive location for businesses and residents alike. We have seen large scale developments appear all over London for years, but land is a finite resource and this has allowed the growth of other major cities to become thriving living / working centers.
Landsec CEO Mark Allan said: “This acquisition provides us with the opportunity to immediately deploy capital into high quality income producing assets and also to invest more over time through the development of phase two. . MediaCity is a compelling addition to our portfolio, providing the opportunity to invest and further develop the domain with the potential to be on site from the first half of 2023. ”
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