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The ‘Crossrail factor’ continues to drive property investment in London

By Stuart Buss

The ‘Crossrail factor’ continues to drive property investment in London
  • Recent major deals highlight Crossrail’s influence on property investment in London
  • Crossrail’s own property plans on track with planning permission already secured for 1 million sq ft of development

The Crossrail project continues to have a growing impact on London’s property market with a series of major recent property deals highlighting the influence of the project and Crossrail’s own development plans also making good progress.

In 2012, Crossrail published a Property Impact Study following research by the UK’s largest independent commercial property consultant GVA. Among the study’s key findings were that Crossrail is already having an impact on property decisions in the Capital, stimulating investment in commercial activities, retail and housing, and driving up commercial office values around Crossrail stations.

Five months on and there is growing evidence in the property market to support the key findings of the report. Major property deals in London over recent months have highlighted the impact and influence of Crossrail including:

  • In January, CBRE Global Investors acquired two central London properties (110-113 Tottenham Court Road and 83 Clerkenwell Road) in a £20m deal, highlighting Crossrail as a key factor in both acquisitions. Michael Ness from CBRE Global Investors said: “We believe that these two acquisitions will be major beneficiaries of the Crossrail development, as infrastructure improvements are already adding to the commercial attractiveness of both Clerkenwell and the Tottenham Court Road area.”
  • Also in January, Goldman Sachs submitted plans for a 1.2 million square feet office scheme along Farringdon Street; and in the summer, developers Axa Real Estate expect to complete the construction of ‘Sixty London’, a 215,000 square feet office development in Farringdon. Both developments will benefit from the new Crossrail station at Farringdon which when it opens in 2018, will be one of the busiest rail stations in Britain and at the heart of London’s rail network linking transport services north, south, east and west.
  • In February, British Land acquired theEaling Broadway Shopping Centre in a £142.5m deal, highlighting the improved journey times to Ealing Broadway that Crossrail will create as an important driver behind the deal. Charles Maudsley, Head of Retail, said: “We believe there are significant opportunities to grow and develop the shopping centre as a retail destination […] as the area benefits from residential development and the completion of Crossrail.”

Along with wider property investment in the capital, Crossrail’s own property development plans at stations along the new route are making good progress including:

  • Planning permission secured for nearly 1 million square feet of development space so far – a total of 3 million square feet of high quality office, retail and residential space is planned above new Crossrail stations and sites. These developments will help create new business space, jobs and new homes for Londoners on top of the world-class new transport links Crossrail is delivering
  • Further over-site development planning applications submitted this year for 65 Davies Street at the new Bond Street Crossrail station and Crossrail’s Fisher Street site in central London also due to be submitted shortly
  • Further funding secured for Crossrail’s ambitious Public Realm improvement programme which will deliver improved public areas outside stations along the Crossrail route. Initial urban realm design work has been completed for 16 stations so far, with masterplans for another 12 stations to be completed by the end of 2013.
  • Leading development partners secured for five over-site development sites: Grosvenor Estates (Bond Street West); Great Portland Estates (Bond Street East); Derwent London (Tottenham Court Road East); Cardinal Lysander Group (Farringdon West); Aviva Investors (Liverpool Street West)
  • Further investment and development opportunities available at other prime London sites including: Tottenham Court Road (West); Lindsey Street in Farringdon (East); Fisher Street in Holborn; Limmo Shaft, near Canning Town east London; Woolwich East; Paddington Triangle; Liverpool Street East (Blomfield Street)

Crossrail Director of Property Ian Lindsay said: “Recent property deals have highlighted the ‘Crossrail factor’ as a growing influence on London’s property market. It is encouraging to see major UK and international firms citing Crossrail as a catalyst in pushing forward existing schemes and an enabler in identifying new development opportunities. With our own property plans also making good progress and plenty of commercial opportunities still in the pipeline, Crossrail will continue to be a key driver in the future development of London.”

Mike Taylor, Director at GVA comments: "Our impact study indicates significant value uplift for both commercial and residential real estate in the areas immediately surrounding the proposed Crossrail stations, as well as positive yet lesser effects in areas within a miles radius of each station. Whilst speculative development is considered high risk in current economic conditions, major infrastructure improvement offers developers and investors an opportunity to commit. It's certain Crossrail will have formed a major part of the investment viability of recent schemes.”

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Notes to editors:

GVA profile:

GVA is the UK’s largest independent commercial property consultant. Headquartered in London and with 12 offices and 700 fee earners across the UK, GVA offers the country’s largest and most diverse multidisciplinary property consultancy outside of the capital. The company is 80% consultancy-based.

GVA generated a turnover of £117 million year ending 30 April 2012, up from £115 million on the previous year. For further information visit www.gva.co.uk

GVA is also the owner of GVA Worldwide, an international network of independent property advisors serving 25 countries, with nearly 5,000 real estate professionals throughout the US and Europe. For further detail visit www.gvaworldwide.com

About Crossrail:

Crossrail’s construction commenced on 15 May 2009 at Canary Wharf.

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.