£400m-plus West End spending spree spreads beyond Berkeley Square

The Abu Dhabi Royal family is to buy the prestigious 1 Curzon Street office development in London’s West End for around £280m as its Mayfair spending spree continues.

The family is also set to buy nearby 16 Berkeley Street, which houses 40,000 sq ft (3,716 sq m) of retail and offices, for around £40m from a joint venture between Terrace Hill and Longford Group.

Last week the family placed the 50,000 sq ft (4,645 sq m) Time & Life Building, on the corner of Bond Street and Bruton Street, under offer for more than £100m.

The price on this deal reflects an initial yield of around 4%. Michael Elliott is acting for vendor Strategic Real Estate Advisors.

The family is also considering buying 6 Chesterfield Gardens, which is being sold by Delancey with an asking price of around £50m.

The Abu Dhabi royal family already owns much of the property around Berkeley Square, as well as properties on Hill Street and Charles Street, after its acquisition of the Berkeley Square Estate in 2001 from bp for £315m.

The family also owns the nine-floor Berkeley Square House, CB Richard Ellis’s former office and a shortlisted favourite for Knight Frank’s new headquarters.

The family bought a half share of the property for £135m in 2002 from the British Airways Pension Fund.

CGI, the German fund manager, put the 215,000 sq ft (19,975 sq m) 1 Curzon Street up for sale in May. The price represents an initial yield of 4.1%. Savills is acting for CGI; the family is advised by GVA Saxon Law.

The average passing rent at 1 Curzon Street is £57.40/sq ft (£617.85/sq m). Tenants include UBS Private Bank, which occupies 90,000 sq ft (8,361 sq m), Banque AIG, Moore Capital Management and DTZ. Leases expire in 2018 and 2019.

Hill and Longford Group developed 16 Berkeley Street in 2003 in the hope of attracting a single tenant, but later decided to split the property. Tenants include St Modwen and Vedanta Resources.

The Abu Dhabi royal family has also been looking at property outside Mayfair.

However, it lost out in the £530m auction of BP Pension Fund’s Knightsbridge estate earlier this year to a consortium of Irish investors led by Derek Quinlan.