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Praxis has continued its push into the regional office market with the acquisition of One Trinity Gardens in Newcastle from Abrdn, The investor has agreed a deal to acquire the 125,000 sq ft office on Broad Chare off Newcastle’s Quayside for £18.6m. The building has been owned by Abrdn for more than a decade, with the investor having paid £49.1m to buy the asset from the Crown Estate in the wake of the 2008 financial crash.

One Trinity Gardens is home to the likes of BNP Paribas, Allianz, Nuffield Health, Deloitte and St James’ Place Wealth. Abrdn has carried out a series of refurbishment works in recent months, with around 22,000 sq ft of newly refurbished space available. The building is Praxis’ fifth office acquisition in the first two months of 2023 following deals in Godalming, Epsom, Brentwood and Frimley, and is also one of the largest office investment deals in Newcastle in the past 12 months.

Praxis ramps up activity

The move is part of the company’s efforts to build a best-in-class regional office portfolio, with the company having set out a £650m investment strategy late last year.

Praxis investment director Charlie Arden said:

“The acquisition of Trinity Gardens is the fifth asset we have acquired from institutional or pension fund vendors since the start of the year, reinforcing our position as the buyer of choice for those sellers looking for transactional certainty in a volatile market. “We are delighted to add tenants such as Deloitte, St James Place Wealth, BNP Paribas, Allianz, the NHS and Nuffield Health to our portfolio.”

Praxis director James Hewitt said:

“The market is fixated on obsolescence risk for office assets in the face of impending statutory energy performance legislation and the sector is still very much out of favour. We have demonstrated time and again that our fully integrated platform enables us to unlock value that is inaccessible to others, and where some see risk, we see extraordinary opportunity.

“We have a dedicated team in the business comprising senior personnel from our solar, development, facilities, property and asset management teams exclusively focused on repositioning our assets as a result of which we upgraded the heating and cooling systems of seven assets last year eliminating the reliance on gas from over a quarter of a million sq ft of commercial real estate.

“We have also transformed the EPC rating of three regional office assets from a D to an A grade in the first two months of this year and this forms part of a wider £35m capex programme in 2023 to deliver the best-in-class green office space of the future across our portfolio. Our intention is quite simply to create the best portfolio of regional office assets that has ever existed.”