LSE takes Land Registry office for £37.5m

Posted on by John Cronin

London School of Economics (LSE) is set to buy the Land Registry Office building in central London for £37.5m. The Land Registry Office has issued a press release confirming the deal that is now subject to contract.

land registry officeThe grade II listed building (pictured) at 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields is being sold to LSE who have plans to use the offices for both academic and administrative uses. The 85,000 sq ft Edwardian building will be used as an expansion of LSE’s university campus which already includes properties in the area. Staff currently occupying the head office will be moved out to the Land Registry’s Trafalgar House office in Croydon.

Julian Robinson, a spokesperson for LSE said: “This is a serious landmark building for a serious University – the purchase of the Land Registry will enable the LSE to further its objective of creating a world class estate commensurate with its academic reputation.”

This transaction comes under the programme of staff reduction and office space rationalisation that the Land Registry Office first announced earlier this year. In total 8 office buildings from a portfolio of 17 have been put on the market at a total valuation of £80m. Along with the existing head office in Lincoln’s Inn Fields other properties deemed surplus to requirements include a £10m 56,000 sq ft office block in Tunbridge Wells; a £6m 110,000 sq ft building in Stevenage, Hertfordshire; a 70,000 sq ft building in the centre of Portsmouth valued at £8m; Ty Bryn Glas, a 60,000 sq ft Swansea office valued at £3.5m and Plumer House, a 4.5 acre site in Plymouth with an office valued at £2m.

The Land Registry has very recently applied for planning permission to build 74 homes on the Plumer House site according to a report in the Plymouth Herald. The current office block, built for the Land Registry in the 1970’s is set to be demolished and the then empty land to be sold off for redevelopment. Staff from Plumer House in Crownhill are due to move to another of the Land Registry’s Plymouth offices.

The Land Registry Office has stated that any surplus space in buildings not being sold, will be rented out where possible.

BNP Paribas Real Estate acted for LSE, Lambert Smith Hampton acted for the Land Registry Office. When appointed, Tony Fisher, head of Lambert Smith Hampton’s office division, said: “Investors are looking to capitalise on current market conditions and take advantage of the good-value investment opportunities available, nowhere more so than in the central London office market.”

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