TALKS are about to start between the Kennel Club and new potential purchasers of the Clarges Estate.
British Land – one of Europe’s largest real estate investment trusts – has entered into an agreement to buy Clarges House, 6/12 Clarges Street and 82/84 Piccadilly in Mayfair based on a property price of £129.6 million.
The company is reported to have said it intends to develop the entire site and provide a new KC building, but this has not been confirmed.
It is understood that the company intends to create a ‘landmark mixed-use scheme’ of 63,000 sq ft of luxury private residential units fronting Piccadilly, with 7,900 sq ft of retail below, and 91,000 sq ft of high-quality offices in a separate block.
Design and planning work is already underway to improve the existing planning consent, a spokesman said.
Two months ago a deal between the land owners and developers Chelsfield Partners fell through when director Sir Stuart Lipton failed to meet an ultimatum to sign what was rumoured to be a £170m deal for the plot.
Under this arrangement the KC would have received £12m and a move to the slightly larger, refurbished Clarges House next door, with all expenses paid. The £12m – which would have been subject to tax – was to be received over the years leading up to the move which was then scheduled to be between December 2013 and the spring of 2014.
The club’s relocation would have made way for the redevelopment of that entire section of Mayfair by Chelsfield, of which the KC’s property at 1-5 Clarges Street forms an integral part.
In a letter to members this week, KC secretary Caroline Kisko said British Land had entered into a corporate agreement to buy the estate, and that the company’s advisor had been in contact.
A meeting is to take place during the summer, she said, at which details of British Land’s proposals will be heard.
"As we previously reported, detailed discussions with the Chelsfield Consortium to relocate the club to new premises at Clarges House in Clarges Street became abortive due to the collapse of their own negotiations to purchase the Clarges Estate from Parwick Properties,” she wrote.
"We will provide a further update to members in due course once more definitive information has been made available by British Land to the chairman, chief executive and trustees.”
A spokesman for British Land told DOG WORLD that nothing had been decided.
"It’s up to the Kennel Club really,” she said. "It’s their space. We certainly might provide a new place for them but it’s very early days.”
Tim Roberts, head of offices at British Land, is reported to have said: "I am excited by this unique opportunity to buy land in Mayfair, where we can leverage our financial and development expertise to add value.
"The scale of development will create a landmark building and will further enhance British Land’s presence in the West End.”
It’s great news for exhibitors that British Land is interested in buying the Clarges Estate. Since the last deal with Chelsfield fell through property prices in the West End of London have soared by 10.4%. This means the exhibitors can expect a further £1.2m to be pumped into dog showing over and above the £12m windfall promised by Chelsfield.
It turned out to be right decision by the Kennel Club to pull out of the Chelsfield deal – well done!