Evans Randall Targets Hedge Funds With Mayfair Purchase

Evans Randall Ltd., half owner of the London tower known as the Gherkin, bought 60 million pounds ($93 million) of office property in the city’s Mayfair district.

The buyout firm purchased a 34,000 square-foot (3,150 square-meter) office building at 15 Sackville Street, Evans Randall said yesterday in a statement. It also joined with Al Salam Bank Bahrain in the purchase of 4 and 5 Queen Street, where it will develop six luxury apartments, according to the statement.

“We intend to lease the vacant offices to companies where demand is strong such as hedge funds, boutique investment firms and perhaps technology, media and communications firms on the lower floors,” Evans Randall Chairman Michael Evans said in a telephone interview.

Mayfair and nearby St. James’s, the London districts with Europe’s biggest concentration of hedge funds, have seen increased competition for space as developers have converted offices into luxury homes to take advantage of higher returns. London’s West End replaced Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive location per worker to lease new office space, broker DTZ said in a report in January.

The purchase of the seven-story Sackville Street building represented a yield of 5.5 percent, Evans Randall said. Aareal Bank AG was senior lender for the transaction.

In a separate transaction, the firm paid 16 million pounds for a data center near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

German real estate company IVG Immobilien AG and Evans Randall bought the Gherkin at 30 St. Mary Axe from insurance group Swiss Re Ltd. for about 600 million pounds in 2007. The building was valued at 473 million pounds to 510 million pounds last year, according to IVG’s website.

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