The London Borough of Croydon has bought a key property in the borough for just less than £20m to push forward its plans for the wider regeneration of the area.

The council has bought the 100,000 sq ft Davis House, next to its existing offices in Fell Road, from Highcross for £19.2m.

It is aiming to transfer the property into its £450m urban regeneration vehicle partnership with John Laing when the partnership is formally agreed next month.

Cabinet member for regeneration, councillor Tim Pollard, said: ‘Quite simply, acquiring Davis House is vital for the council's plans to redevelop its own land holding.

'To buy the building on favourable terms, without alerting competitors, is an excellent business approach that underpins the council's determination to secure value for money in all it does.

‘The outcome of this transaction means the council will own an income-generating asset immediately alongside its own offices and will therefore be in a much stronger position to influence a more sensitive redevelopment.

'And if the URV proceeds as expected the financial exposure will be negligible.’

The council is expecting that the URV with John Laing will complete the transaction and reimburse it when the deal is agreed.

However, if the URV does not get the go-ahead, the council said it would still have improved its holdings in the town centre.

King Sturge advised the council and de Morgan & Co advised Highcross.