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Crown Estate, Omers Agree on $483 Million London Venture

The real estate unit of Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in the commercial real estate part of a 320 million-pound ($483 million) London project for an undisclosed amount from Britain’s Crown Estate.

Crown Estate, the property company that generates income for Queen Elizabeth II, and Toronto-based Oxford Properties Group will own 150-year leasehold interests in two blocks at St. James’s Market between Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, the London-based property company said in a statement today.

The project “will deliver the most ambitious redevelopment in St. James’s in the last century and represents a major tipping point for our strategy for the area,” Paul Clark, The Crown Estate’s investment and asset management director, said in the statement.

The Crown Estate, owner of about 50 percent of St James’s, has been using joint ventures to help rejuvenate its central London holdings. It sold 25 percent of London’s Regent Street for about 448 million pounds in 2010.

The venture with Oxford Properties will develop 210,000 square feet (19,500 square meters) of office space, 50,000 square feet of stores and restaurants as well as a new public square.

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