Blackstone Sells Iconic London Office for $335M

The 286,600-square-foot Cannon Bridge House property, consisting of two linked buildings atop a rail station, has changed owners after a successful renovation and repositioning.
Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London
Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London

Three years after acquiring Cannon Bridge House in London, Blackstone has sold the 286,600-square-foot office property for £248 million, or approximately $335 million. Blackstone relied on commercial real estate services firms HFF and Savills to secure a buyer for the property at 25 Dowgate Hill, and they found one in a partnership of FG Asset Management, a Korean alternative asset management and financial services firm, and London-based real estate investment manager Valesco Group.

Blackstone had owned Cannon Bridge House since 2015, when the global private equity and alternative asset management firm purchased the property from Westbrook for £166 million, or roughly $225 million in today’s dollars. Originally built in 1991 on a 2.5-acre site along the River Thames, Cannon Bridge House sits directly above a busy rail station and consists of two connected buildings: the 91,700-square-foot River Building and the 194,900-square-foot Atrium Building. The River Building, long celebrated for its distinctive one-acre roof terrace, recently emerged from a seeping renovation program. Blackstone felt its work was done at the landmark London office destination.

“The sale of Cannon Bridge House concluded the business plan of Blackstone who undertook a significant repositioning of the River Building to create a modern and dynamic office environment that appealed to the tech and media industries, resulting in it being 100 percent preleased to Deliveroo and Kobalt Music Group,” Stephen Down, head of Central London investment at Savills, said in a prepared statement.

Not too big for small deals

The largest real estate private equity firm in the world, Blackstone is well-known for blockbuster deals like its planned $7.6 billion acquisition of Gramercy Property Trust and pending $3 billion purchase of Canada’s Pure Industrial REIT. However, the company is not averse to one-offs, investing in high-quality properties and transforming them through value-add initiatives. Blackstone’s lengthy list of value-add dispositions in 2017 includes the sale of the 693,000-square-foot Central Park of Lisle in Chicago for $129 million, four years after acquiring the office campus for $116 million. In London, having repositioned Lacon London, the company sold the 215,000-squrare-foot office building, three years into its ownership.

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