Overlooking a park, the 1.2-acre site is close to Aldgate East underground station in Zone 1. This popular area will benefit from the new Whitechapel Crossrail station, which will open in 2019 and is only 650 meters away.
The site has three main components: The Hickman, an office building readied for redevelopment, Challenger House, a 171 bedroom hotel let to Qbic Hotels, and courtyard sites to the rear.
We acquired The Hickman with planning permission for redevelopment and off a low capital value of £250 per sq ft. Since then, we have improved the design by relocating the office entrance, rotating the core to improve the efficiency of the floorplates and upgrading the building’s services. Together with our schemes at Hanover Square, W1 and Oxford House W1, we have now started the redevelopment. Once complete, the building will deliver 74,700 sq ft of well-designed, cost-effective offices in the heart of Whitechapel.
We are also exploring a number of innovative options for the building, including areas for flexible working, an element of co-working space and the creation of a technologically smart building. This, amongst other innovations, will enable many of the building services to be accessed through a smartphone app. Together, we expect these initiatives to increase the productivity of the space for its occupiers and, in turn, enhance its letting prospects.
We expect to complete the redevelopment of The Hickman in the autumn of 2019.