Former Meta HQ in London to become science and tech hub

British Land and asset manager Royal London have announced a joint venture to create the innovation space at 1 Triton Square in Euston.

The joint venture will see Royal London take a 50% stake in the project for £192.5 million, in addition to a £149 million surrender premium received from Meta, which exited its contract on the office space in September last year.

That move followed a trend of large firms cutting back on workspace post-pandemic as hybrid working has become increasingly popular, and companies have faced a challenging economic climate.

The joint venture project will see the site, which is valued at £385 million, turned into a science and tech facility combining labs and a range of office spaces.

The building is located within the Regent’s Place campus, part of London’s so-called “Knowledge Quarter”, and is home to a number of leading research institutions including The Francis Crick Institute, The Wellcome Trust, the Alan Turing Institute and University College London.

Meta previously occupied the building (Joshua Bratt/PA)

Simon Carter, chief executive of British Land, said: “We are delighted to be working with Royal London Asset Management to deliver a world class science and innovation building at Regent’s Place.

“We proactively took 1 Triton Square back from Meta to reposition it for science and innovation customers, with the expectation of unlocking significantly higher rents, whilst benefiting from a considerable surrender premium to further improve the economics.

“This transaction is another example of how we drive value through establishing innovative JV partnerships, enabling us to flex our balance sheet, share the risk and crystallise the value created from Meta’s surrender premium.”

Mark Evans, head of property and commercial development at Royal London, said: “We are thrilled to join forces with British Land to reposition 1 Triton Square for the science and innovation market.

“The partnership opportunity aligns with our wider strategy to leverage our platforms in new markets and continue to deliver on our commitment to purposeful investment.

“We have long recognised the demand for best-in-class science and innovation space, particularly in the Golden Triangle, and the need for this space in supporting the UK’s economic growth.

“In testament to this strategic vision Royal London Asset Management has established 1.5 million sq ft of holdings to meet these needs over the past 10 years.

“1 Triton Square will increase our holdings to over 2.0 million sq ft and will form a core part of our wider portfolio as we position life sciences and innovation as a core platform for further investment.”

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