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LCR sells stake in London’s 67-acre King’s Cross development after nearly 20 years stewardship

22nd January 2016

Image courtesy of John Sturrock

LCR completes the sale of its 36.5% stake in the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) to AustralianSuper for £371 million.  Over 100 investors from across the globe expressed an interest in the competitive tender process, which was managed by Lazard and Savills. The proceeds of the sale will be returned to Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT), to be reinvested into the public purse.

LCR’s involvement in the regeneration of the King’s Cross area began in 1996, when they were selected to deliver the award winning High Speed 1, known then as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, which included the restoration of St. Pancras Station. The 67 acre site had once been an industrial heartland but by the 1970s had become a series of disused buildings, railway sidings, warehouses and contaminated land in considerable need of regeneration.

The planned restoration of St. Pancras Station and the upgrades of the Underground stations and national mainline stations acted as a catalyst for the regeneration process and so in 2000 Argent was
selected as the development partner to bring forward plans for King’s Cross.

In 2001, construction work started on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and in the same year, the development partners launched an extensive public consultation to shape the vision for King’s Cross, which continued throughout the evolution of the masterplan, up until submission in 2004. Outline planning permission for the site was granted in 2006.

The new St Pancras International opened in 2007 and the same year, work started on the transformation of King’s Cross Station, to create new entrances, more space and better facilities. The following year the KCCLP was formed by LCR alongside Argent King’s Cross Limited Partnership and other investors, to become the single landowner of the site.

Since then, the KCCLP has made massive progress on the 8 million square foot development to put King’s Cross on the map, delivering a vibrant new quarter of offices, homes, community facilities, schools, a world-renowned university as well as a host of shops, restaurants, bars and cultural venues.  Once complete, in around 2020, King’s Cross will benefit from 2,000 homes, around 3.4 million sq ft (316,000 sq m) of office space and around 500,000 sq ft (46,400 sq m) of retail and leisure space. 40% of the development will be public space, accessible to the estimated 45,000 people who will live, work, study or visit there.

David Joy, Chief Executive of LCR, said:

“Today marks the end of nearly 20 years’ of our stewardship of the King’s Cross redevelopment. The sale of our 36.5% interest demonstrates a good return for the taxpayer and shows the value we have unlocked for this extraordinary part of London.

“Since the delivery of HS1 and the restoration of St. Pancras International in 2007, we have been at the helm of Europe’s largest city centre development, working closely with Argent, Hermes and DHL through the King’s Cross Central London Partnership. It has been a great pleasure to work with our partners and especially with Argent who we selected as development partner in 2000.

“Today, at the half-waypoint in the construction of the 67 acre development, we are confident that the Partnership’s place-making philosophy has been achieved. The list of commercial tenants now at King’s Cross combined with the restaurants, homes and public realm bear testament to this.  You only have to walk around the development now to see the amazing transformation from what it was in 1996. 

“We will follow King’s Cross with great interest as this award winning development continues to take shape.”

Sir David Clementi, Chairman of KCCLP, said:

“The King’s Cross development partnership’s long-term approach has created one of Europe’s most exciting places to live, work, or visit – a real asset to London. I would like to thank LCR and DHL for their support for the project over many years. AustralianSuper’s increased share demonstrates its confidence in the remaining future growth in value of King’s Cross, as we enter the final five years of construction.”

Jack McGougan, Head of Property at AustralianSuper, said:

“We are pleased to have secured an increased stake in this iconic mixed use development and look forward to working with our co-investors and the Argent development team to create a vibrant, commercially successful neighbourhood in Central London.“

London & Continental Railways Limited, 4th floor, One Kemble Street, London WC2B 4AN  Tel: +44 (0) 20 7391 4300  Fax: +44 (0) 20 7391 4401

Registered in England and Wales, company number 02966054 at the above address.