GPU set to confirm giant Leeds HQ

By Paul Norman - Tuesday, September 05, 2017 15:30

The Government Property Unit will shortly confirm it has completed its latest major campus letting at MEPC, Hermes Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s Wellington Place campus as the preferred destination for its circa 380,000 sq ft civil service hub requirement in Leeds in a deal first revealed by CoStar News.

The GPU has been searching the UK for 13 consolidated regional bases as part of an overhaul of the government's real estate portfolio aimed at increasing efficiencies and supporting regeneration and has already selected or shortlisted major sites in Croydon, Cardiff, Birmingham Bristol, Liverpool, Canary Wharf, Manchester Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In March CoStar News revealed that the GPU, which is being advised by JLL, had picked Wellington Place as the front runner ahead of two shortlisted rivals in Leeds - BAM’s circa 400,000 sq ft Latitude Leeds and Town Centre Securities' Whitehall Riverside.

Property sources expect an announcement to be made as early as tomorrow confirming the deal has completed.

HMRC has been the main focus of the GPU's requirements initially as it approaches the end of a 20-year sale and leaseback arrangement with Mapeley Estates to manage most of its estate.

In Leeds however it is understood that the requirement will see some HMRC staff moved from nearby Shipley and Bradford but the requirement also includes significant numbers of Department of Education and Health staff based in and around the Yorkshire city.

MEPC, Hermes and CPPIB lodged plans for an eight-storey office building at 7 and 8 Wellington Place – the next phase of Wellington Place – in November of last year. The application confirmed that the GPU was considering the site among others to house a government office hub in Leeds by 2019.

The building, part of phase two of Wellington Place, comprises 377,215 sq ft of offices, 22,135 sq ft of ancilliary uses including shops, cafés, bars and restaurants and 182 basement car parking spaces.

Cushman & Wakefield and JLL are leasing agents at Wellington Place.

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