Citi seals the purchase of £100m Reading office scheme amidst influx of overseas capital

Leading UK property consultancy Allsop has completed the purchase of a newly built Grade A office scheme in Reading on behalf of Citi Private Bank, a subsidiary of banking conglomerate Citigroup, and its private investor client.

One Forbury Place, located in the capital of the Thames Valley, is a BREEAM ‘excellent’- rated office building, offering 185,109 sq ft of customisable workspace. The building has been fully let to a single tenant, SSE, a multinational energy company headquartered in Scotland, since 2015 on a lease until March 2031, with an upwards-only rent review in four years.

An architecturally striking office scheme, One Forbury Place features ribbon-like vertical fins around its exterior, providing solar shading. It is one of the three buildings that comprise Forbury Place Estate, Reading’s newest business district designed to meet the needs of employees and organisations in a post-pandemic world. One Forbury Place benefits from a double-height reception and high ceilings throughout and is equipped with showers and changing facilities, as well as a landscaped terrace, electric car charging points, 225 parking spaces, and cycle storage, enabling active and more environmentally conscious lifestyles.

The Estate is located a five-minute walk from Reading train station, offering fast and reliable transport links into central London and beyond. Following a £900 million upgrade, the station will become the western terminus of the Elizabeth Line, which will connect Reading to Abbey Wood and Shenfield, Essex via central London, with services set to commence on 24 May.

Acquired from the global investment management company M&G, the deal represents an NIY of 5.64%, and serves to illustrate the appeal of the prime regional office market to overseas investors in search of attractive investment opportunities beyond London.

Allsop is mandated as Citi Private Bank’s retained agent for direct commercial UK real estate acquisitions. M&G was advised by CBRE.

Dale Johnstone, partner at Allsop, said: “As the UK office market continues its post-pandemic recovery, overseas investors feel more reassured about its trajectory and are eager to look beyond London in search of attractive yields. One Forbury Place is an asset of rare quality and exceptional location near Reading station, and its appeal will be further amplified with the opening of the Elizabeth Line later this month. As we’re seeing more overseas capital flow into the UK market, Allsop is well positioned to help investors identify income-producing opportunities across the country thanks to our network of contacts and in-depth understanding of the commercial real estate landscape.”