The Leadenhall Building, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, has been sold to a Chinese property magnate for a price of £1.15 billion, in what has become the second-biggest sale of a UK building in history, as well as one of China’s largest acquisitions of UK real estate. The transaction involved developer British Land and its partner Oxford Properties, who sold the tower to CC Land, a Hong Kong based company.
Tim Roberts, head of offices and residential at British Land, said: “British Land and Oxford Properties took a bold step at the early stages of the UK’s economic recovery to develop the Leadenhall Building to generate a high-quality, long-term income stream,” said Tim Roberts, head of offices and residential at British Land. “This sale shows continued investor appetite for best-in-class, well-located property in London.”
Colloquially known as “The Cheesegrater” for its unusual wedge-like form, the 224-meter tall building was completed by Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners in 2014. The tapering design captures and preserves views of St. Paul’s Cathedral, capitalizing on the proximity of its location to the iconic landmark.
London’s Square Mile has been home to a recent crop of new skyscrapers, such as 20 Fenchurch Street, nicknamed the “Walkie Talkie”. At 52 stories, however, The Cheesegrater remains the second tallest in the financial district, while also breaking rent records for the City of London after its four-year construction period.
The sale is bested only by the sale of Canary Wharf’s HSBC Tower to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, for a value of £1.18 billion, which remains the biggest sale of a single UK building to date. CC Land also recently acquired Vodafone’s Paddington Headquarters for £290 million, continuing foreign interest in the UK markets given a weakened British pound in light of Brexit.
While contracts have been exchanged between the parties involved, the sale awaits approval by CC Land’s shareholders.
News via: The Guardian.
Correction Update: A previous version of this article listed the Leadenhall Building as the tallest building in London; this is inaccurate. The tallest building in the City of London financial district is 110 Bishopgate (Heron Tower), designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, while the tallest building in the London metropolitan area is The Shard, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop.