Norton Rose is advising US property giant Hines on its first UK office scheme.
Hines, a new client for Norton Rose, has bought the 120,000sq ft redevelopment of 99-101 Queen Victoria Street, the site of the Slavation Army's international headquarters.
The redevelopment is the first of its kind for Hines in the UK. It has so far dealt with airport related developments. Established in 1957, the private company has run a huge development programme in the US and Europe during the past 10 years. The Queen Victoria Street deal launches its drive to boost its UK business as a developer of office space in central London and the South East. Work is due to start on site later this summer.
Norton Rose gained an introduction to the company through Hines UK managing director Christopher Harris, who left longstanding Norton Rose client London & Metropolitan in 2000 to take up the new role.
Harris brought Norton Rose in on a number of potential schemes before Hines concluded its first UK office deal. Norton Rose has also advised Hines on a number of corporate matters in Europe, including a joint venture in Italy.
This is not the first time Norton Rose has been involved in the Queen Victoria Street site. It was previously being developed by Mark Glatman's Abstract Securities, advised by Herbert Smith. But Glatman ran into difficulties when South African insurer Old Mutual pulled out of a proposed pre-let after scaling back its property requirements. Norton Rose was advising Old Mutual on the abortive deal.
Hines will now take a long leasehold interest in half of the site from the Salvation Army and develop it as a 90,000sq ft office building to be let speculatively. The Salvation Army will remain on the other half of the site, where Hines will develop its new international headquarters building. Norton Rose will have an ongoing involvement advising on the development and letting of the scheme.
Head of property Robin Mitchell is managing the new client relationship and is leading the team. He said: “We're very excited to be acting for Hines on this, its first development in the City. For them, this deal is a significant toe in the water of UK office development. The indications are that they now intend to put a very substantial foot into that water.”
Mitchell was assisted by Daniel Wagerfield in property, Thomas Speechley and Tomas Gardfors in banking, and John Challoner in tax. Patrick Jennings of Slaughter and May advised the Salvation Army, assisted by John Nevin.