City's tallest tower on the market for £300m

City's tallest tower on the market for £300m


Tower 42, hailed as Britain’s original skyscraper, has been put up for sale by owners BlackRock and Hermes Real Estate, stoking optimism that the good times could be on their way back for London’s property market.

Formerly known as the NatWest Tower, the building is expected to fetch up to £300 million. Completed in 1980, it remains an architectural monument to the money and power worship of the city in the 80’s, and is still the tallest occupied office building in London.

The sale of the 600ft tower is said to be indicative of the recent growth of interest among buyers for prize assets. Marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle, although unlikely to reach the dizzying heights of the sale of the Gherkin for £600 million in 2007, it promises to be the largest single real estate deal in the City this year.

The sale follows a healthy surge in commercial property prices over the last year, linked to the weak pound and shortage of quality office space in London. Some values are nearly as high as pre-crisis in 2007.

Marcus Sperber, the managing director of BlackRock, commented: “With significant global demand now focused upon central London offices driven by expectation of future returns, combined with a dearth of trophy assets on the market and weak sterling, the partners believe that the timing is right to market the asset.”

According to the Financial Times, Tower 42 generates around £20 million a year in rental rates in the prime office space deprived capital.

Although some speculate that the current rise in prices may come to a halt once banks start selling up distressed capital, many are still hoping that spring time will once again bring on the boom times.

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