£1 Billion Mixed-Use Development Set to Revitalise Blackfriars in London

£1 Billion Mixed-Use Development Set to Revitalise Blackfriars in London

London is set to receive a significant boost with a £1 billion mixed-use property development in Blackfriars. The green light has been given to a property developer for the redevelopment of 18 Blackfriars, the former site of the Sainsbury’s headquarters.

This area has remained largely vacant for over two decades, but plans are now underway to construct three buildings. Two of these will provide over 400 new homes, with 40 per cent designated as affordable housing. The third building will offer 800,000 square feet of office space.

In addition to the residential and office components, the developers will also build 20,000 square feet of affordable workspace. There will be assembly rooms available for use by the local community, educational facilities, children’s play areas, and a new central public space featuring retail and food outlets.

Ross Blair, senior managing director and country head of Hines UK, expressed enthusiasm about the project, stating, “Businesses are increasingly demanding more from their office spaces, and 18 Blackfriars aims to meet that challenge by delivering the office of the future. We believe our plans will establish a new standard for premium quality workspace in London, seamlessly integrated into its local community and strategically positioned in the heart of our capital city.”

This development comes at a time of significant transformation for the UK office market. Commercial property values have faced challenges due to rising interest rates and concerns about the post-pandemic office market, particularly with the persistence of hybrid working trends. Businesses are also prioritizing environmentally sustainable office spaces that meet Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) targets.

Blair highlighted the importance of environmental considerations, noting that many businesses are currently operating in spaces that fall short of their own environmental standards or employee needs. To address this, 18 Blackfriars Road has been designed to be fossil fuel-free, 100 per cent electric, and Net Zero Carbon in operation. The site’s heat demand will be served primarily by ground source heat pumps, with energy sharing, storage, and offsetting mechanisms in place.

The development is slated for completion by the end of the decade and is part of a wave of new developments planned for London in the coming years. Olympia London, a project in Hammersmith set to open in 2025, will offer commercial office space along with amenities such as a new permanent theatre and a variety of restaurants.

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