Shard secures development funding
A group of investors led by Qatar Islamic Bank and newly established Islamic investment bank QInvest has completed and signed on a deal to acquire 80% of the building of the London Bridge Quarter which includes the famous ‘Shard of Glass’ new London Bridge Tower. This was achieved alongside Sellar Properties of London who retain 20% of the deal.
The consortium has successfully concluded around nine months of negotiations for the deal, which was arranged by Centuria, who will also be the asset manager, and four large Qatari institutions to undertake the £2 billion development, designed by the award-winning international architect, Renzo Piano.
The consortium will comprise the Qatari Islamic investment bank QInvest, Sellar Property Group, Qatar National Bank, Qatari Islamic Bank and Barwa. The consortium members will be 20% equal shareholders in the newly formed London Bridge Quarter Holdings Ltd.
It is estimated that development of London Bridge Quarter will cost up to £1.4bn and the Qatari-based investors will provide the majority of the initial construction finance.
QIB Chief Executive Officer, Salah Jaidah said: “This project is an exciting and strategic one for QIB and our subsidiary in London, European Finance House. This represents for us a positive conclusion of nine months of negotiations. Over this period QInvest and QIB took the lead and were the ones that initiated the idea of founding the Qatari consortium of banks for this big project. It is also the first time ever that a Qatari consortium of banks joins together for a project in the international market and we are proud to be part of it.”
Irvine and James Sellar, of Sellar Property Group: “We are delighted that we have been able to attract such high calibre investors into the London Bridge Quarter development. This underlines both their faith in this iconic development and the London real estate market. Together we can fast track the construction of the Quarter enabling us to complete construction by the end of 2011.”
Two major pre-lets have already been contracted for London Bridge Tower: Shangri-La Hotels is taking almost 200,000 sq ft of space over 18 floors (floors 34 to 52) and Transport for London is to occupy 190,000 sq ft of office accommodation.
London Bridge Tower is a 1.4m sq ft (gross) mixed-use development which at 1016ft (310m) will be Europe’s tallest and first truly mixed-use building. It will comprise offices, and a mid-level leisure and viewing complex. There will be a further public viewing gallery at the very top of the building while London’s most spectacular apartments will have some of the finest views of the city.
The redevelopment of New London Bridge House will be re-named London Bridge Place and will be an office building with a gross area of 600,000 sq ft and a net of 430,000sq ft.