AXA launches Hammersmith development

Assembly London - external aerialAXA Real Estate Investment Managers has launched Assembly London, a new mixed-use urban campus on the site of the former Harper Collins offices in Hammersmith.

Construction will start shortly, say AXA, on the first phase of the four-building campus totalling 220,000 sq ft at 77 Fulham Palace Road.

Assembly London - external sidePhase one of the project comprises the development of two new TP Bennett designed buildings, The Foundry and 1 Smith’s Square, which between them will deliver 150,000 sq ft of new office space and 20,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space. Phase one also includes the re-landscaping of the public realm.

Construction, which AXA say is not dependent on securing a pre-let, is due to commence this month, following the recent grant of planning permission for both buildings in the first phase, with completion expected by mid-2016.

AXA say the three-acre development seeks to boost a part of London significantly lacking Grade A office space. Also, as part of AXA Real Estate’s wider initiative to focus on wellbeing and reduce environmental impact, the estate will offer extensive amenities for cycling, together with a squash court and gym and secure underground car parking.

Assembly London - atriumAXA Real Estate say they are in advanced discussions with an international TV and media production and distribution business regarding a prelet of around 30,000 sq ft.

AXA Real Estate is working with London based development manager, Bell Hammer, on The Foundry – 115,000 sq ft of office accommodation situated at the centre of the estate which will be the largest building on the campus.

Assembly London - roof garden1 Smith’s Square will be a mixed-use building incorporating a series of double height retail and restaurant units, as well as 35,000 sq ft of office space. It has been designed to form the social heart of the campus and act as the gateway to the estate.

Harry Badham, Head of UK Development at AXA Real Estate, commented: “The rebirth of this district as Assembly London will provide one of the best and most interesting working environments in central London. The growth of rents in many central London locations have begun to price out occupiers, and we believe many of these businesses will start to look for new locations where they can find value, whilst still wanting accessibility for staff and a great working environment. We believe that Assembly London, with its extensive landscaping, modern and varied office spaces together with a range of retail, restaurants and amenities, provides a highly appealing option, at just 15 minutes from the core West End.”

Joel Hawkins at Bell Hammer, commented: “The Foundry is at the heart of Assembly London and provides an opportunity for larger businesses to locate themselves on the estate. Even at this early stage, the building has generated interest from potential occupiers already in the locality as well as others looking to relocate from the West End or come into London from further afield.”

AXA Real Estate acquired the site in 2014.

Images: River Film

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