The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Steve Summers, was the guest of honour at a ‘topping-out’ ceremony held at 20 St James’s Street this week, celebrating an important milestone in the property’s transformation into a high quality, modern office building in the heart of London’s West End.
WELPUT, the £1.3bn specialist Central London Office managed by Schroder Real Estate and advised by Grafton Advisors, purchased 20 St James’s Street in 2015 with the aim to create a prime new office building in line with its strategy of upgrading Central London office buildings. WELPUT, with Grafton Advisors acting as development manager, appointed contractor Structure Tone Limited to commence a comprehensive redevelopment of the property, which is anticipated to complete in May 2018. The upgraded building will deliver over 53,000 sq ft of prime office accommodation to the undersupplied West End market upon completion.
Formerly a traditional corporate headquarters, 20 St James’s Street has been redesigned by Orms Architects to create a brand new modern workplace which, with the prestigious London location, will appeal to a wide array of tenants. The transformative refurbishment will deliver flexible floorplates and a high quality sense of arrival through the new reception facilities.
The programme of works, which commenced in January 2016, includes a wholesale structural refurbishment of the building, removing the original core and common parts in order to create uncompromised floorplates throughout, of up to 6,500 sq ft. The property’s attractive classical façade is also restored incorporating new double height street-level glazing with a sleek, contemporary reception space.
Councillor Steve Summers, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, commented: “Westminster continues to prove a highly attractive business destination for occupiers, providing a robust legal and financial framework, alongside a high quality cultural offer. It’s important that we continue to cater to demand from domestic and international businesses, and modern, prime projects, such as 20 St James’s Street, send a very clear message that London is open for business.”
Christopher Cope of Grafton Advisors said: “Upon completion in May 2018, the redeveloped 20 St James’s Street will deliver first class office accommodation to a highly sought after London sub-market, which continues to suffer from a real shortage of quality, Grade A stock. The building will set a benchmark for commercial space in the area, offering both domestic and international tenants a superb product in the heart of London’s West End.”
Jourdan Rajwan of Schroder Real Estate, added: “The investment into 20 St James’s is a prime example of WELPUT’s ongoing valued added strategy of rejuvenating office buildings across Central London. Following the recent sale of 3 St James’s Square this project will allow WELPUT to gain further exposure to the St James’s leasing market, through a very high quality building, at the same time where we expect to see a dearth of supply in the local submarket.”
Dean Manning, Managing Director at Structure Tone Limited, said: “This is the last major milestone ahead of practical completion in May 2018 and it’s important we recognise the good progress made thus far in the extensive transformation of this historic building. The quality of work carried out to date is a clear demonstration of the prime accommodation and amenities the building’s prospective occupiers will enjoy upon completion.”