Frogmore’s £25m Point West Five project should start on site at the end of August, despite the deteriorating economy, showing strong developer confidence in the Ealing Office market.
The project is a respectful refurb and extension of a Richard Seifert building, with design handled by Darling Associates. The building had been converted from office to educational by Thames Valley University prior to Frogmore acquiring it in October last year, but will become as the original architect intended once more when the project completes in early 2010.
“I’d been looking to buy in Ealing for some time”, says Frogmore Director of Development and Leasing Jo Allen. “I’m confident of the strength of the Ealing Office market, it has excellent transport links, achieving a PTAL rating of 6, and great amenities.”
The building will provide 135,000 sq ft of office accomodation over 15 floors, which can be subdivided into units of 4,000 sq ft, providing the option of a vibrant multi-let building. The ground floor is 2,863 sq ft of retail/restaurant accomodation. It scores well environmentally, as it incorporates a range of energy efficiency features such as ground source heat pumps and chilled beams.
The development is entirely speculative, but this causes no concerns at Frogmore, who are well placed through their £330m Real Estate Partners fund to build through the tough times, thereby producing product just as the market becomes more contrained. Vacancy rates are already falling in West London and rents rising (see Jones Lang Lasalle’s report on the subject), so by March 2010 things could be even tighter, making Point West 5, and buildings like it, even better investments.
The main contract is about to be let to Ardmore, who should start work during the summer.