M&G Real Estate – part of M&G plc’s £65 billion private and alternative assets business – has acquired a Grade A office building in London’s West End on behalf of an Asian separate account mandate. M&G has made three acquisitions on behalf of this particular client strategy to invest in core plus to value-add opportunities, recycling some of the proceeds from the recent profitable sale of Saffron House, which realised an increase of 22% increase in value within nine months.
Ryder Court is a circa 75,000 sq ft, five-storey office located in St James’s and is currently multi-let to various tenants in the financial and hospitality industries. With superb transport connections with Green Park and Piccadilly Circus stations located nearby, it is also served by a good mix of hotels, food and beverage outlets and retail.
Acquired through an off-market deal, M&G will invest additional capital to upgrade the reception area, introduce cycle storage and provide shower facilities. The modernisation programme will also significantly strengthen Ryder Court’s sustainability credentials through an overhaul of the central plant facility and the provision of a rooftop terrace, which will promote health and wellbeing benefits and the creation of an entire new floor of workspace.
Paul Crosbie, who leads M&G’s UK value add initiatives, comments: “Opportunities to acquire prime assets such as Ryder Court in prestigious sub markets like St James’s are rare. Whilst the rise of homeworking has clearly accelerated, demand for quality offices in prime locations is holding up well. Furthermore, occupiers and investors are more discerning, focusing on sustainability, wellbeing and amenity. We expect an increase in demand for ‘green’ assets, which will command premium rents and pricing.”
TeckLeong Kee, Fund Manager, M&G Real Estate Asia, comments: “The focus on sustainability from occupiers and investors alike has led to a rise in demand for ‘green’ assets which are commanding premium rents and pricing and a number of ‘green buildings’ have already been certified in London and other major cities. We continue to invest to future proof our assets for our tenants.”