The collection of WC2 offices for rent is centred around 50-57 High Holborn and the nearby Brownlow, Caroline and High Holborn Houses. 45-51 Bedford Row, Brownlow Street, and 18-25 Hand Court are also among the secondary quality properties to let in Midtown.
Bee Bee had originally proposed a complete redevelopment of the 1-acre site, which would have delivered 400,000 sq ft of Holborn office space, but took the opportunity to sell the estate in 2006 to the Holborn Property Unit Trust who completed the purchase in conjunction with Blackfriars Property Group. The Irish investment vehicle paid Bee Bee Developments £45m for the WC2 office portfolio and initially approached the local planning authority with an office-led scheme featuring 28 homes and 22 student flats.
Sheppard Robson architects were instructed to draught a mixed use proposal for the site and planning was approved by Camden Council in July 2009 for a scheme composing 154,000 sq ft of Chancery Lane office space in Holborn, alongside residential, student accommodation, retail and restaurants. However, the project did not proceed, as the owners fell victim to the financial crisis.
The stalled scheme was placed in the care of a team of receivers at Allsop last year and the agency has been evaluating the best way to recoup the value of the site. Although a guide price has not been announced, market commentators are confident that investors will be attracted by the solid income stream offered by the WC2 office rentals, as well as their wider potential for redevelopment into 300,000 sq ft of Central London office space.