LONDON-Hammerson has won the bidding race to buy RT Group Developments, formerly the property arm of Railtrack, with a £63 million ($100 million) offer. The portfolio of 24 sites across the UK could deliver up to 20 million sf of new development. Hammerson has already agreed to sell on seven of the sites to Irish developer Ballymore for £27 million ($43 million).

The portfolio includes a 50% interest in Cricklewood Redevelopment, a joint venture with Pillar Property, which is proposing a 9 million-sf mixed-use development of at Cricklewood, London NW2. Hammerson was particularly keen to secure this site because it complements its nearby Brent Cross shopping centre, where expansion plans have been stymied by planning restrictions.

Also included are two City fringe sites to the north of Broadgate and close to Hammerson’s existing Bishop’s Square scheme which between them could support 540,000 sf of offices. And in the same area Hammerson proposes a 50:50 joint venture with Ballymore to redevelop the 10.5-acre Bishopsgate Goods Yard site, where there is potential to create a mixed-use office, retail, leisure and residential scheme of more than two million sf.

And in the West End, the portfolio includes the Triangle site on Bishop’s Bridge Road at Paddington, London W2, which could support 215,000 sf of offices. Overall, in addition to the development opportunities, the portfolio generates £600,000 ($1 million) per annum in rental income.

Hammerson Chief Executive John Richards said: ” This is a very exciting transaction for Hammerson which, for a net investment of around £30 million ($48 million), gives us control of some key sites in central London. These sites represent a substantial long term development land bank. We intend to work up these schemes and advance them as market conditions improve over the next few years.”

Hammerson was advised by Insignia Richard Ellis and Ballymore was advised by Alan Selby & Partners. Deloitte & Touche, the Liquidator of RT Group PLC, was advised by Jones Lang LaSalle.

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