BE Offices spreads its wings with portfolio deal

BE Offices has embarked on a major expansion push, acquiring four serviced office centres in central London spanning more than 100,000 sq ft.

The portfolio is understood to comprise centres previously run by Avanta which Regus had to offload in order to gain regulatory approval for its £40m acquisition of the company last year.

The £9m deal involves the acquisition of the businesses and leases, but not the buildings. It therefore marks a change of direction for the company, which owns most of the properties behind its centres.

The acquisition also significantly expands BE’s portfolio to 857,000 sq ft, adding more than 1,500 workstations and taking it into new areas of London in the West End and Docklands.

“This acquisition enables us to expand both our portfolio of centres and our geographic spread away from the City to other key central London business districts,” said David Saul, BE’s managing director.

He conceded that the EU referendum result had created “huge uncertainties” for businesses but that it was not necessarily bad news for the serviced office sector.

“Companies requiring additional space but nervous of committing to fixed-term, fully repairing and insuring leases in the present uncertain economic climate are able to take short-term, high-quality accommodation for as long as they need - whether that be for a few months or a few years,” he said.

The biggest centre in the portfolio is at 83 Victoria Street, near London Victoria train station, which totals 41,670 sq ft and provides 618 workstations.

It also includes a 28,000 sq ft centre at 5 Merchant Quay, Paddington, which is in the same building as Marks & Spencer’s head offices and is set to benefit from the opening of Crossrail. BE has entered into a new 10-year lease there with European Land at £60/sq ft.

The other two in the portfolio are a 22,000 sq ft centre at Evergreen House North, Grafton Place, in Euston and a 14,000 sq ft centre, 5 Harbour Exchange in Canary Wharf.

In addition to the acquisition, BE has taken a further 6,600 sq ft on the sixth floor at 107 Cheapside, in the City near St Paul’s Cathedral, where it opened a 13,400 sq ft office in November last year.

If you are interested in office space with BE offices please call Gryphon Property Partners on 0203 440 9800 or click on the following link - Office