British Land repurchase West End development from McAleer and Rushe

British Land is looking to secure a £100m scheme at a London West End development site after repurchasing it from McAleer & Rushe for a little over half of the price that it originally sold the property for, back in 2005. The UK REUIT is thought to have paid around £30m for the site located at 2-14 Baker Street, which it was sold to the construction company for £57.2m in autumn of 2005.

McAleer & Rushe acquired the site from the Bank of Ireland for approximately £40m and then secured planning consent for an office scheme measured at 140,000 sq ft with a design by Jestico & Whiles the architectural firm.

Sources close to the Irish bank state that the loan, which was underwritten by the Bank of Ireland, is said to be worth about £30m, was due for inclusion in the first £16bn set of loans that were transferred to the NAMA (National Asset Management Agency of Ireland). However, the Bank of Ireland has stopped work on the transaction and shown no further interest in the site after British Land decide to purchase the site and develop the scheme.

Most believe that British Land will still use McAleer & Rushe as the building contractor, with the construction company retaining a small part of the profit-share arrangement, which would let it regain some of its losses once the office scheme is completed. It is believed that British Land was able to secure the purchase over Henderson Global Investors and was advised by King Sturge