The 40-storey office building, designed by Lord Foster, has become an integral part of the UK capital’s skyline since it first opened in 2004.
The skyscraper, though, has struggled financially for several yaers. Funded by a loan in Swiss francs and sterling, the rise of the foreign currency against the pound has left the building facing unassailable debts.
After its appointment as receiver for the building in April this year, Savills and Deloitte Real Estate have been jointly instructed to place the 30 St Mary Axe landmark on the market.
Marketing of the 505,000 sq ft (46,914 sq m) building is about to commence with interest “expected to come from all corners of the globe”.
The building is currently multi-let to approximately 20 tenants including Swiss Re, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP and ION Trading.
Stephen Down, Head of Central London Investment at Savills, comments: “This is a prestigious appointment on what is a globally recognised landmark building, which sits in the heart of London’s business core. The Central London commercial property market has benefitted from improving market conditions over the course of the last few years. Not only have we witnessed a sustained appetite from international investors for assets in London but we have seen a substantial improvement in business growth and take up of office supply as the Capital’s economy continues to improve.”
The latest London Office Crane Survey by Deloitte Real Estate shows office development has now been running at below average levels for five years, with 9.2m sq ft under construction across central London. This, combined with a clear rise in office take-up over the last 12 months, has resulted in availability falling to its lowest point since 2007, with 45% of space under construction already let.
According to Savills research, over the last five and a half years, Central London has seen £71.1 billion invested into the office and retail markets, with overseas investors accounting for £47.7 billion, equating to 67% of the overall volumes. The research notes that during this time period, investors from Asia Pacific represented 19% of total office and retail transactions, with European buyers accounting for 18%. US and Middle Eastern investors represented 13% and 10% respectively. The firm also highlights that UK institutions are another current key investor group in the Central London market having accounted for 23% of office transactional activity between January and May 2014, compared to just 10% during the same period in 2013.
Indeed, Jamie Olley, Head of City Investment at Deloitte Real Estate, says that the property will appeal to a “wide range of domestic and international investors” and that they are “confident of maximising returns to the receivers and creditors”.