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U.S. Giant Lincoln Property Buys £750M Reading Crossrail Development Project

Station Hill, Reading

U.S. investor and developer Lincoln Property Co. has bought a development site in Reading, 40 miles west of London, with a potential end value of £750M ($1B).

Lincoln Property, in a joint venture with European investor MGT Investment Management, has bought the 6.5-acre Station Hill site next to Reading station for around £70M from opportunity fund manager Benson Elliot and its development partner Stanhope.

The scheme has planning consent for 930K SF of offices, 150K SF of retail and 475 residential units. Given Lincoln Property is the second-largest manager of rental apartments in the U.S. the likelihood is that these will be built for rent. It has developed more than 210,000 rented residential apartments in the U.S.

Overall Lincoln Property manages $76B of assets totalling 403M SF in the U.S. It is led in Europe by managing director Troy Javaher.

The site will benefit from the opening in December 2019 of Crossrail, which will give Reading a direct rail line to Central London stops in the West End and City.

The sale gives a site that has long been stalled a chance of finally seeing construction commence. Benson Elliot took ownership of the site in 2011 after the previous owner, former Reading Football Club owner Sir John Madejski, had to renegotiate debt covenants with lenders. Since then plans for the site have been refined but work has thus far failed to start.

“The site occupies an exceptional location next to Reading station, which has benefitted from a massive infrastructure improvement in recent years with the station’s redevelopment and the expected delivery of Crossrail’s Elizabeth line in December 2019,” Javaher said.