Allianz and Canada’s PSP fund Welput’s Victoria office giant

Central London office fund Welput has recapitalised its landmark, 105 Victoria Street, London SW1, securing a £400 million development finance facility to fund the construction of a 500,000 sq ft, primarily office project on the site of the House of Fraser department store.

As we reported 4 March, Skanska has been awarded a £235 million contract for the construction of the project and work will commence in July this year with completion planned for 2026.

The project is the largest speculative West End office scheme ever to come forward and in April 2021 became the largest ever single commercial building consent granted by Westminster City Council.

Welput is managed by BentallGreenOak which has attracted the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) to the project. One of Canada’s largest pension investment managers, it has co-invested alongside existing Welput investors in the development.

Allianz providing half of the £400 million development finance

Allianz Real Estate has provided about £200 million of the £400 million development finance facility which will partly fund the construction of the scheme.

BGO said the development will go well beyond industry standards for sustainability and will not only be operational net zero, but achieve net zero embodied carbon using innovations in ultra-low carbon construction to minimise the carbon intensity of the development. The carbon emitted will be offset within six years of the new building’s operations in comparison to the retention and refurbishment of the existing building.

The building will be the largest all-electric office in the UK and BGO has committed to the development’s energy being supplied from fully renewable sources, with no gas supply and no diesel generator on site, ensuring zero fossil fuels in operation and during construction.

As a result, the building is designed to meet EPC A and WELL ‘Platinum’ certification and exceed RIBA 2030 sustainability targets as well. The scheme is also the UK’s first office building to target a combined BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and 5.5* NABERS rating, which is an environmental performance rating tool that rates the operational energy use of offices.

A Social Impact Charter  will implement ambitious programmes of school engagement, volunteering, and upskilling in the local community.

“PSP Investments is pleased to establish this new partnership with BGO and Welput on what will be UK’s largest 100% electric net zero office building. This fossil-fuel-free development aligns with PSP’s strategy to invest in sustainable buildings that have a positive impact on the community and better position our London portfolio for the future,” said Stéphane Jalbert, managing director and head of Asia-Pacific and Europe real estate investments, PSP Investments.

The project has been designed by architect Kohn Pederson Fox, with interiors by Henning Larsen. In addition to 450,000 sq ft of workspace, including 5,500 sq ft dedicated to incubator and affordable space, there will be over 30,000 sq ft of retail space and almost 30,000 sq ft of greenspace and terracing. There will be 90,000 sq ft of community space including a central village square.

CBRE and JLL have been appointed as commercial leasing agents for 105 Victoria Street.