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Landsec Follows BL With Push Into Life Sciences


Landsec is in talks to buy an office building in London that could be converted or redeveloped into a life sciences scheme.

The UK’s second-largest REIT is in talks to buy Block D of the Regent Quarter scheme in King’s Cross from Nuveen and Istithmar World for £105M, React News reported. The block comprises 82.5K SF of office space leased to publisher Macmillan until 2027 but not used by the company.

If Landsec completes the deal and undertakes a life sciences overhaul, it will be following in the footsteps of British Land in expanding its commercial portfolio from offices and retail into life sciences. BL has bought life sciences assets in Cambridge and is building a modular lab at its £3.5B Canada Water scheme to see if there is interest from life sciences occupiers.

King’s Cross is one of London’s life sciences hotspots due to its proximity to facilities such as The Francis Crick Institute, UCL and the Wellcome Trust. Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosan are planning a major life sciences development as part of the expansion of the nearby British Library

Other investors, including GPE, also looked at buying the block at Regent Quarter, React reported. The wider Regent Quarter scheme comprises 260K SF of office space, 60K SF of retail and 180 flats across 12 buildings.

Landsec is in the process of selling off mature London office assets and reinvesting the proceeds in development. It has sold about £2.4B over the last three years, with a sales target of £4B. 

In London, its new developments include 55-65 Old Broad Street in the City, which it bought for £87M in 2020. EG reported that the company has submitted a planning application to partially demolish the existing building and replace it with a new 23-storey, 436K SF office building.