A high level of direct investment and forward-funding activity from this German investment fund, particularly over the last 18 months, have made it one of Simmons’ most significant property clients. Better still, Simmons is the only English firm Despa uses. The relationship goes back to Despa’s first investment in the UK six years ago and originated in a recommendation from surveyors DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, which was already advising a number of German funds.
The office building was originally going to be pre-let to DLA before Despa agreed to fund speculative development in August 1997. The four major lettings were documented by Simmons in a matter of weeks, with the final floors going in July. Tenants are paying record rents of up to £570.50 per sq m (£53 per sq ft).
Other Despa deals include the £140m funding of Helical Bar’s development of 25 Chiswell Street, which has been pre-let to Slaughter and May. Documentation was also recently exchanged for the forward funding of an Oxford Street retail and office development. Simmons has also acted on two overseas deals for Despa, in Barcelona and Budapest.