Construction News

Sun June 20 2021

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Developer warns on Brexit impact

7 Jul 16 Get ready for a slowdown in the London commercial property market, a leading developer has warned.

GPE's Rathbone Square development
GPE's Rathbone Square development

Toby Courtauld, chief executive of Great Portland Estates, says that there is likely to be a hiatus in investor decision-making while Britain’s exit from the EU is negotiated.

He said: “Whilst tenant interest levels are currently healthy for our limited available space, it is likely that the uncertainty created by the EU referendum result will have a negative impact on economic growth in London.  In the near-term, we expect confidence to reduce and some business investment decisions to be deferred whilst negotiations to establish our trading arrangements with the EU are undertaken. As a result, we can expect London's commercial property markets to weaken during this period of uncertainty with the benefits of lower bond yields and weaker sterling offset by reduced rental growth prospects.”

However, he said that his own company was well placed. “Following three years of net property sales, our balance sheet has never been stronger with gearing at record low levels, giving us significant financial capacity to take advantage of any market weakness,” he said.

In a trading update, Great Portland Estates also listed progress on its various construction projects in the capital.

The mixed-use Rathbone Square development is now mostly clad and tower cranes come down this month.

At 160 Old Street, EC1, (formerly 148 Old Street) demolition works are complete and the main contract has begun to transform the existing 97,800 sq ft building into around 161,900 sq ft of office and retail space. Target completion is late 2017.

Construction of a new-build office and retail scheme at 30 Broadwick Street, W1, is on programme to complete in September.

Construction is also on schedule at 73/89 Oxford Street, W1, opposite the Dean Street entrance to the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station.

At Tasman House, 59/63 Wells Street, W1, the demolition of the existing 1950s building is complete and the main construction contract has started.

Great Portland Estates current projects

Committed schemes

Anticipated finish

New building area
sq ft

Cost to complete

Rathbone Square, W1




- Commercial

Mar 2017


- Residential

Jun 2017


160 Old Street, EC1

Dec 2017



30 Broadwick St, W1

Sept 2016



73/89 Oxford St, W1

May 2017



Tasman House, W1

Oct 2017



84/86 Great Portland St, W1

Dec 2016



78/82 Great Portland St, W1

Sept 2016



90/92 Great Portland St, W1

Jul 2016







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