Leslau’s Max Property Buys London’s St. Katharine Docks for $250 Million

Max Property Group Plc (MAX), the property investment company set up by entrepreneur Nick Leslau, and a family trust agreed to buy St. Katharine Docks near London’s Tower Bridge for 156.3 million pounds ($250 million).

The 10-acre site, which has a 160-berth marina and 500,000 square feet (46,000 square meters) of offices, shops and restaurants, generates an annual rental income of 12.6 million pounds, according to a statement from Jersey-registered Max Property. The purchase is scheduled to complete before Aug. 8.

Leslau plans to refurbish the properties, which have a vacancy rate of 12 percent, to boost rental income as occupiers look for cheaper office space. St. Katharine Docks is on the edge of the City of London financial district, adjacent to the Tower of London.

“People are prepared to go elsewhere and not just stay in the Square Mile,” Leslau said in a telephone interview, referring to City of London. “It’s difficult to imagine a more beautiful place to work and live in central London.”

Max Property will manage St. Katharine Docks for investment partner Newmarket Property Holdings Ltd., which is owned by an unidentified South African family’s trust. Their venture, in which Max Property will have a 60 percent stake, is funding 55 percent of the purchase with a loan from Eurohypo AG.

The property was sold following a default on a 170 million- pound loan by the owners, AREA Property Partners LLP and F&C REIT Asset Management Plc. The securitized loan was placed in special servicing in May 2010 after the value of the property fell to 116 million pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Simon Packard in London at packard@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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