BBRE Sells TWB in Reading for £51 M

From Insider Media Limited –

A centrally located eight-storey office building in Reading has been acquired in a deal worth about £51m.

UK Commercial Property (UKCP) REIT, which is managed and advised by Aberdeen Standard Investments, has bought White Building, a multi-let office asset on King’s Road, from Boultbee Brooks Real Estate (BBRE) in partnership with a client of CBRE Global Investors.

The property, which reached practical completion after a comprehensive refurbishment in 2017, comprises 95,903 sq ft with a modern reception area, communal roof terrace and flexible and virtually column-free floors with new floor to ceiling glazing.

Currently 82 per cent let to nine tenants, the building has a weighted average unexpired lease term of five years to break and is expected to deliver an annual rental income of about £3m once fully occupied.

It has attracted a strong occupier mix, including international cybersecurity company Carbon Black, financial management and human capital management software business, Workday, international pharma company Pharma Cosmos, and flexible office provider Work.Life.

Located in the town centre, approximately six minutes’ walk from Reading Station where the Elizabeth Line is due to open in 2019, White Building is also three minutes’ walk to Reading’s main retail destination, The Oracle.

UKCP REIT also announced the disposal of 1 Rivergate, an office building on Temple Quay in Bristol city centre, to West Midlands Pension Fund for £27.6m, reduced to £26.6m net allowing for a rental top up.

1 Rivergate is entirely let to energy technology company and supplier OVO Energy.

Will Fulton, lead manager of UKCP REIT at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “The acquisition of the White Building in Reading, which is effectively a new office and has proven enormously popular amongst

tenants, is in line with our strategy to acquire prime assets with an earnings focus; we fully expect that the property will continue to benefit from the wider infrastructure investment being undertaken in Reading, most significantly the Elizabeth Line links to central London and improvements to the public realm.”Whilst the Elizabeth Line continues to be an attraction for a diverse range of occupiers, the ongoing evolution of Reading as a technology cluster remains the mainstay of activity and, we believe, positions the town well for the future.”

Clive Brooks, managing director of BBRE, added: “The sale of the White Building to UKCP REIT concludes one of our most exciting office refurbishment projects to date and we are very pleased with the completed building.

“In 2014 we took the bold step to acquire the vacant and dilapidated Kings House out of Receivership and in conjunction with our partners at CBRE Global Investors, we created an exciting workspace with exposed services that has set itself apart from other office buildings in Reading.

“The completed product has been extremely well received by agents and occupiers alike and that is a credit to our architect, SPPARC and the rest of our development team.”

UKCP REIT was advised by Knight Frank on the acquisition of the White Building and by Colliers on the disposal of 1 Rivergate.  BBRE and CBRE Global Investors were advised on the disposal by BBRE’s retained portfolio investment adviser, Aurum Real Estate Partners.