European property developer HB Reavis has bought up Elizabeth House – also known as One Waterloo – on the South Bank from London & Regional and Chelsfield, with planning in place for a David Chipperfield-designed 88,000 square metre mixed-use scheme.
The prime site, next-door to Waterloo Station, is HB Reavis’ fourth London property, and the first to include any significant resi element.
The current building, Elizabeth House, is a pretty dated 1960s office block, which has been subject to various development ideas for more than a decade, with a fair amount of controversy bubbling up when Chipperfield’s office-led designs went in for consideration and review in 2013-2014.
Approved plans involve two new structures: a 29-storey building to the north (118 metres in height) providing offices and 142 residential units, and a 10-storey building to the south providing office and retail space. All-in, there’s 88,000 square metres of development space, including 70,000 square metres of commercial floorspace, 142 homes and public area totalling 18,000 square metres.
This acquisition follows the launch of HB Reavis’ flagship project, Varso Place in Warsaw. This Foster + Partners-designed tower climbs to 310 metres, and will – once completed in 2020 – be Central Europe’s tallest building. The company is HQd in Luxembourg, but operates across Europe, with outposts in London, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Turkey. It currently has three other London schemes under construction: 33 Central (a 21,000 square metre new build office on King William Street in the City); Cooper & Southwark (a 7000 sq m office building at 61 Southwark Street due to complete later in 2017); 20 Farringdon Street (a 7500 sq m office building due to complete in 2018).
Tomas Jurdak, CEO, HB Reavis UK: “We’re excited to add Elizabeth House to our portfolio. The development provides a unique opportunity for us to deliver a building that will transform the area through our considered approach to development and placemaking. The deal aligns with our strategy of acquiring well-located sites in London with significant potential to deliver innovative, contemporary office schemes that employ the latest technology, are heavily focused on the needs of their occupiers and improve life for those who use our buildings as well as the surrounding community.”
Pavel Trenka, CEO, HB Reavis Group: “In recent months we have been asked about our perspective and commitment to the London market. This deal – our largest yet in the UK – affirms our long-term commitment and aligns with our plan to position one third of our business operations in London by 2019. The development joins a list of major schemes of similar size and urban scale across our other markets including Varso Place in Warsaw, Agora in Budapest and NIVY/Twin City in Bratislava. Both Elizabeth House and Varso Place are unique due to their extraordinary vicinity to major transportation hubs and their scale and prominence provide an endless range of user experiences. These are the development opportunities we live for!”