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Indian group with hospitality interest snaps up £90m WC2 site

Acting on behalf of ABIL Group, an Indian real estate developer with interests in hospitality, Savills has acquired 5 Strand, London WC2, from BlackRock UK Property Fund, for more than £90m. The acquisition is the developer’s first investment in the UK.

The 72,359 sq ft (6,722 sq m) office and retail building is let to Westminster City Council and Boots. The property was marketed with plans designed by Adjaye Associates for a 200-room hotel scheme along with planning consent for a new 152,400 sq ft (14,158 sq m) development including 61,670 sq ft (5,729 sq m) of office accommodation, 5,376 sq ft (499 sq m) of retail space and 38,941 sq ft (3,617 sq m) of luxury residential accommodation.

Barry Mangan, director in the central London investment team at Savills, commentsed, “Located adjacent to Trafalgar Square, close to Charing Cross station, 5 Strand presents an attractive redevelopment opportunity to maximise the building’s strong position in prime central London. As such it makes a good investment for our client, in their first UK purchase.”

Gary Witham, director in the hotels team at a Savills, added, “The London hotel market continues to attract a wide range of overseas investors with the city providing attractive long term income prospects. As the first purchase for our client, 5 Strand makes an excellent choice providing the opportunity to create a leading purpose built hotel l in a tourist location that is recognisable to a global audience.”

Data from Savills shows that overseas investment into hotels in London totalled £1.06 billion last year, an increase of 17.7% on 2016. Institutional capital investment into hotels also grew 6.8% to £370.7m in 2017, the highest level of investment from this buyer type for over 10 years, according to the firm.

Pune headquartered ABIL Group was founded by Avinash Bhosale in 1979 and has gradually shaped the direction of the construction, real estate and hospitality sectors in India. ABIL has successfully developed the St. Regis Mumbai, W Goa, Westin Pune and Le Meridian Nagpur all high end luxury properties under the Marriott brand across India. To date, ABIL Group has been involved in the development of 18.8 million sq ft of prime real estate.