The City of London Corporation confirmed today it had completed the purchase of the Fleet Street Estate from Land Securities as revealed by Property Week in October last year.

It completed the purchase yesterday at a price of around £74m.

The Fleet Street Estate comprises eight adjoining self-contained buildings comprising about 200,512 sq ft of lettable space.

The freehold site occupies a prime position in the heart of London’s Midtown district. It is bounded by Fleet Street to the north, Whitefriars Street to the west, Salisbury Square and Salisbury Court to the east and the Harrow public house and Primrose Hill to the south.

A substantial part of the site is occupied by the Office of Fair Trading.

Ownership is being transferred to the City in three tranches, with the later two tranches being transferred once renovation works have been completed.

Sheriff George Gillon, chairman of the City of London’s Property Committee, said: ‘This is a significant strategic purchase for the City of London Corporation and shows the City’s confidence in the long term prospects for City property.

'Long term income secured against a Government covenant is also attractive at this time of declining interest rates.’

Richard Linnell, head of investment management in Land Securities’ London portfolio team, said: ‘We have assembled this site around the Headquarters of the OFT, and have added value with the recent extension of the OFT lease.

'We believe that the capital released by this sale will work better for us by generating out-performance in other areas than through redeveloping this particular site.’

The City Surveyor and Drivers Jonas acted on behalf of the City of London Corporation and BH2 acted for Land Securities.