Originally comprising two adjoining and multi let office buildings (Cityside and Challenger) and totalling circa 110,000 sq ft. The site also benefits from a large rear car park area. Together the whole site presented a major opportunity to increase the developable area.
Whitechapel was identified as an undervalued area of London when compared to the rents that were starting to be achieved in nearby Shoreditch as demand from tech related companies grew. Whitechapel also had the major infrastructure benefit of a new Crossrail station. It was clear that the area was set for a rerating.
Initially, Appley was asked to advise a Pension Fund on development options for the building and a design team was assembled and options tabled. It was decided that the asset would be sold and Appley in a venture with Gresham Real Estate Fund (Schroders) secured the building.
Appley facilitated vacant possession of Challenger and negotiated a long lease with fixed rental uplifts to Qbic Hotels. Qbic is a leading value for money, design lead hotel company with hotels in London and Amsterdam. This was one of the first new occupiers in the area and became a catalyst for change. The adjoining Cityside building was fully let as offices.
In early 2016 we secured a planning consent from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for the refurbishment and extension of Cityside taking it from 55,000 sq ft to nearly 85,000 sq ft (54% increase in area) with three, full height glass, upper floors and roof terraces. The vision was to celebrate many of the industrial elements of the existing building and on completion, the finished development will have a ‘genuine’ style matching the requirements of target occupiers in this fast-emerging market.
In addition, planning consent was granted for a self contained hotel building and residential block in the rear car park, all located around an attractive courtyard setting.
In 2017 the property was sold to leading Central London REIT, GPE and the development is now underway.