25 November 2006 – Estates Gazzette
Two of the property industry’s biggest private investors added to their West End holdings this week.
David and Simon Reuben bought an Oxford Street store let to value fashion retailer Primark for more than £160m, an initial yield just over 4%.
CB Richard Ellis began marketing the giant store, previously occupied by collapsed department store chain Allders, for Redevco last month at £140m. Jones Lang LaSalle advised the Reubens. Other bidders included Asif Aziz’s Golfrate. The block, near Marble Arch, called Hereford House, includes 51,000 sq ft of offices and 52,000 sq ft of leisure as well as the 130,000 sq ft Primark store and sits on the edge of Grosvenor’s West End estate.
A source said: “The Reubens already have several Grosvenor properties and have a good relationship with them.” The block’s “split-up value” encouraged high bids. “If Primark ever wanted to come out and you split it into three stores, the value would be even higher,” said the source.
Also this week, Chris Lazari bought Prudential’s Century Portfolio, made up of five office and retail freeholds on an island site fronting Oxford Street between Berners Street and Newman Street . Lazari Investments is thought to be paying in excess of £100m for the properties, a sub-5% yield. All of the leases expire in 2013 and the site could take a new development of around 230,000 sq ft, up from the existing 130,000 sq ft. However, Lazari is thought likely to stick to his usual approach of active management rather than a wholesale redevelopment.