Guy's and St Thomas' Charity puts plum 1.5m sq ft London development opportunity on block

By Paul Norman - Thursday, September 13, 2018 15:00

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Savills, on behalf of the 500-year-old Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, has launched a circa 1.5m sq ft office and residential opportunity opposite St Thomas’ Hospital on Royal Street in London's Waterloo, encouraging leading developers to come forward with plans for a "world-class" scheme.

The Charity – a foundation independent from the NHS – is seeking proposals for the long leasehold interests in the 5.4 acre (2.2 hectare) site, on a subject to planning basis. The site is not public land.

While a price has not been attached it is expected to fetch in excess of £200m.

An indicative, commercially-led masterplan has been drawn up by Wilkinson Eyre for a 1.45m sq ft mixed use development including circa 930,0000 sq ft of offices and 362 residential units.

The Charity and its advisory team have worked closely with local stakeholders including Lambeth Council to shape the potential redevelopment of the site. In particular, the masterplan is the result of a close working relationship between the Charity and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Thomas’ Hospital across the road from Royal Street.

Any future development of the site will need to include provision of an 100,000 sq ft Outpatients Building, to be leased by the Trust. This is intended to enable the future development of the main hospital site, and continue to improve healthcare provision in Lambeth. The Trust also has a requirement to lease circa 250,000 sq ft of B1 Office space on the new site.

The site also includes Becket House, the current headquarters of French construction giant Bouygues on a lease expiring 2026, which the Charity bought the long leasehold on in 2016 for circa £112m as it consolidated landholdings.

Oliver Fursdon, head of the central London commercial development team at Savills, said: “Royal Street offers the exclusive opportunity to reposition an underdeveloped site of significant scale on London’s Southbank, to explore the potential value of linkages with the hospital’s vision for a new medtech cluster, and to contribute to the ongoing revitalisation of the area.”

Real estate forms around 40% of the charity's total endowment and around 20% of that is in the Royal Street site. The Charity will retain some interest in the site and use the sale proceeds for its funding activites which are focused on improving health and well being with a particular focus at the moment on tackling childhood obesity and overall health issues.

Given the Charity's funding priorities Gail MacDonald, property director,  said it wanted to see a "world class scheme" that focused on better health and wellbeing as part of the design.

"This is an under-developed site with some buildings that are quite tired, particularly the residential, and as part of the Charity's Act we are tasked with making best use of the assets. We are excited to see what proposals developers come forward with."

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