Hong Kong-based Nan Fung Group is said to be buying a 250,000 square foot complex in London for £270 million ($361 million), according to a report in the UK’s Estates Gazette.
The privately-owned Hong Kong firm is buying the Regent Quarter in north London from Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, ADIA, which together with its advisor on the project LaSalle Investment Management, in September engaged Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE to help sell the Kings Cross complex.
The deal comes as UK’s capital becomes a popular destination for Chinese and Hong Kong investors. Of the £12.2 billion ($16.1 billion) spent on central London offices in the first three quarters this year, almost half came from private Chinese and Hong Kong buyers, according to real estate consultant Knight Frank. The figure surged from last year’s 25 percent and 2015’s seven percent.
King’s Cross Complex Includes 30 Buildings
Nan Fung’s new London asset covers 250,000 square feet spread across some 30 buildings including 200,000 square feet of fully let offices, historic warehouses, and retail space adjacent to King’s Cross station. Originally purchased by LaSalle for less than £100 million in 2005, ADIA and its partner have since redeveloped the four city block Regent Quarter into offices, restaurants, and shops.
The surrounding area of the complex has seen an uplift from nearby developments, including the redevelopment of King’s Cross Central. King’s Cross used to be an underused industrial wasteland before being redeveloped in 2008 by a joint partnership of Argent, London, Continental Railways and DHL. The 67-acre site is now transformed into an area that houses shops, homes, offices, galleries, and schools.
Nan Fung Keeps Expanding London Portfolio
Nan Fung’s London deal comes after the Hong Kong group snatched up a commercial site near the former Kai Tak airport in its home city for a record-breaking price of HK$24.6 billion ($3.16 billion) in June.
The company has been active in London over at least the last few years, agreeing in March 2015 to pay some £80 million for an office building at 16 Old Bailey in London, and in July last year paid £83.5 million for Cheapside House, an office building in the city of London. In 2014, Nan Fung’s non-executive chairwoman, Vivien Chen purchased a building on London’s Canary Wharf for £153.5 million ($249 million).