Aviva, the insurance company is understood to have secured Commonwealth House - the 1930s built office building - for £35m.
Since Commonwealth House was first put on the market by Henderson Global Investors (HGI) the current owner, Aviva has been considered to be the most likely buyer for the 86,000 sq ft property.
Given its joint ownership of the adjacent Post Office site, Aviva has had the edge over competing bidders, allowing the institution to price-in the extra marriage value that will released when the two properties form part of a complete redevelopment scheme.
The 280,000 sq ft former Post Office depot has lain dormant for almost a decade and been earmarked for an array of different uses including: a casino, housing, a hotel, student accommodation and offices. Aviva owns a controlling interest in the 1960s built Royal Mail sorting office alongside Consolidated Developments Ltd, its Soho-based joint venture partner.
So far, the partners have already won planning permission for a 460,000 sq ft extension of the Royal Mail site that was sold by the British Museum to Consolidated Developments for £40m back in 2003.
The word amongst West End office agents is that Ogilvy & Mather is keen to pre-let space at Post Office redevelopment. The global advertising agency is known to be in the market for 200,000 sq ft office space in Midtown & West End.
Midtown is an up and coming district of London bordered by Oxford Street in the West End and to the east by Fleet Street in the City of London. The area has always been popular with legal professionals who benefit from the close proximity to the Law Courts.
The arrival of Google’s UK headquarters at the Renzo Piano designed Central St Giles scheme, has signalled that a new profile of corporate tenant is being attracted to Midtown office space to let. The news that the Legal & General’s boldly-coloured, Central St Giles scheme is now fully let will also encourage Aviva to press ahead with its 600,000 sq ft redevelopment proposals for the combined site.