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Praxis’ disposal aligns profits with ESG

Praxis, the UK value-add investor, has sold 310 St Vincent Street in Glasgow city centre to Eagle Street Partners for circa £20M, close to double what it originally paid for the building in 2015.

Praxis acquired the 70,000 sq ft office building from distillery group, Whyte & Mackay and after securing vacant possession, undertook a comprehensive Grade A refurbishment of the building with an emphasis on sustainability. The works included the creation of sky garden terraces and an overhaul of the buildings M&E systems to incorporate smart technologies, as a result of which the scheme was shortlisted for the British Council for Offices Scottish Awards. The building is now multi-let to tenants including Cisco, Wescot Credit Services and solicitors Lawrie IP.

Praxis Head of Asset Management, James Hewitt commented:

“The sale of 310 St Vincent Street caps £100M worth of profitable exits for the group since the onset of the COVID pandemic, all ahead of business plan. The conclusion of our 310 St Vincent journey is particularly gratifying because it demonstrates that older properties can be rehabilitated, with technology retrofitted to substantially reduce energy consumption and operational carbon, while still delivering highly attractive returns.

It is a misnomer that older generation office buildings are destined to become obsolete and institutionally un-investable, and in the right hands they can be repurposed economically to meet the most stringent environmental criteria, while also satisfying the most demanding occupier needs and wants. Given the size of the UK property market, and the sheer volume of stock that is no longer fit for purpose, this must be the way forward.

The other notable feature of this asset story is that over half of the building was leased up since the onset of Covid-19, despite the Government’s work from home mandate. This, and other leasing successes across our portfolio evidence that if you deliver the right product, at the right price, occupational demand is there even in the most challenging of markets.”

Knight Frank and Ryden represented Praxis, while FT Liden acted on behalf of Eagle Street.