The Taxman cometh.
HM Revenue and Customs has today signed a 25-year lease for the whole of the first office block to be completed in the Ruskin Square development. The deal could be worth more than £200 million for the developers.
And perhaps most encouragingly for the aforementioned Stanhope and their financial backers Schroders is one line in this morning’s press release about the HMRC deal: “There is also an option to lease further space at Ruskin Square”. Finding long-term, anchor tenants prepared to move their businesses to Croydon has not been straightforward.
The agreement for the commercial office block, which is due to be completed in November, can be seen as marking the end of 20 years of uncertainty over the long-stalled development of the key “gateway” site next to East Croydon Station.
Inside Croydon last year was first to report HMRC’s interest in establishing one of its new “tax hubs” in the town centre. From next summer, the nine-storey building will house around 2,500 civil servants from across HMRC, including specialist teams who will work on debt management, fraud and criminal investigations and tax compliance, one of the government’s tax department’s new regional centres.
With commercial rents of around £45 per square foot, the 180,000 sq ft building could be expected to provide £8 million per year to Stanhope.
Overall, the £500 million Ruskin Square scheme includes around 2 million sq ft of development over the nine-acre site, spread across five apartment blocks which include 600 “executive apartments”, and with the intention to build six office buildings. Public open space is also to be provided in Ruskin Square along with 256 car parking spaces and 100,000 sq ft of retail, cafes and restaurants.
“The first office block is already underway, the first phase of housing is nearing completion and, with the opening of Boxpark and detailed planning permission for a second office block, Ruskin Square will deliver the sort of commercial, housing and leisure development that Croydon really needs,” David Camp, Stanhope’s CEO, said in a statement issued by the company today.
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