Villiers Street is an extremely busy thoroughfare adjoining Charing Cross station and is well known for its mix of catering, retail and leisure uses. The rents are some of the highest in London and the street is in substantial demand. The property is as prime as you can get, at the top end of the street opposite the side of Charing Cross station.
One of our major clients is a brewery. They owned a long lease on ground floor & basement public house which had a book value of £5m. They wanted to sell the asset, however could not sell at under the book value. To achieve this value we would be required to find a high quality tenant with a substantial covenant, who would enter into a minimum 20 year lease and pay a new market rent for the street.
And in addition, we needed to agree for the ingoing tenant to pay a premium of at least £200,000. If we agreed a higher rent without premium, this would have adversely affected the investment value. As the ultimate aim was to sell the investment, we needed to be aware of this. As part of the transaction we handled discussions with the immediate landlord to agree a deed of variation, to alter the user clause in the lease from public house use to restaurant use.
Cafe Rouge is the tenant and they entered into a new 25 year lease at a rent of £350,000pax and paying a premium of £200,000. Just to finish it off we completed a back to back sale of the investment for a price of £5.5m. This transaction is typical of what we do, as we have equal understanding of both the landlord & tenant market.
Pure Gyms, Wandsworth Road, London SW8
A familiar scene: a developer builds a substantial residential development with commercial space at ground floor level. Through no fault of their own the commercial is not the focus of the development, and by the time they come to wanting to let or sell the space, the problems are inherent.
This is what we faced on the commercial with at the "This Space" development on Wandsworth Road. The developer Mount Anvil, had created a unique and desirable residential scheme, but had obtained consent for a mix of retail, restaurant and bar uses, which were not right for the location. They struggled to attract tenants and had a book value which looked like a mountain to climb.
We advised that D2 would fit with demand, and agreed terms with Pure Gyms to take 21,000 sq.ft, at a rent of £210,000 pax, subject to planning. A tenants meet and greet was arranged and the planning received the support of the residential occupiers above. We also introduced a private investor to purchase 6,000 sq.ft, and at the time of this website being produced, a charity group are purchasing the remaining 7,000 sq.ft.
A sale of the Pure Gyms investment has been agreed, and once all of these transactions complete, the developer will have achieved well in excess of their book value. Another example of what we do.
Wagamama, Heath Street, Hampstead NW3
The unit is located within this small development on Heath Street in Hampstead. At the time of our instruction, the unit housed 5 occupiers, 3 of whom were either not in occupation or wanted to leave. It's a tricky site and the property in question had some stumbling blocks: although the unit is 4,800 sq.ft, the gross frontage is less than 20ft and in addition the footfall is extremely low.
The unit had previously been occupied and let to various bar groups, who had tried and failed. Unfortunately the local authority will not allow later licenses in Hampstead and this substantially affects the ability of a bar to trade in this type of location. We agreed with the client to source a suitable tenant either in the retail or restaurant field.
Whilst we had interest from major retailers, we identified that Wagamama were at a key stage of their development, and would perform quickly and create an attractive investment to support the sale of the development, which was the ultimate aim of the developer. We agreed terms and Wagamama entered into a new lease at £125,000pax, exchanging within 5 working days. This lead to a sale of the development at an attractive yield.
Incidentally we also let 2 other units in the scheme, the details of which you can find in our "Other Notable Projects" section, at a combined rent of over £200,000pax. One very happy landlord indeed!
Wahaca, Upper Street, Islington N1
Upper Street Islington is a prime leisure spot offering a wealth of restaurants, bar and cafes. Most of the national brands are represented in the street however there is a distinct shortage of available large units. Our clients, again a brewery, had identified to us that they would sell but required a book value of £3.5m.
We needed to source a suitable tenant who offered a sale-able covenant and would pay a top level of rent and premium and enter into a minimum of a 20 year lease.
We identified Wahaca who are aggressively expanding, who completed the lease and we simultaneously sourced and managed the sale of the investment at a gross figure of £3.5m.
This was a tricky brief as so many of the identifiable restaurant tenants were already housed in the location. We needed to balance the potential rent with the covenant to achieve the maximum investment value. We did just that.