AFIAA, a Swiss investment advisor for state pension funds, has completed a £70 million deal to buy the long leasehold for 31 Gresham Street in the City of London.
The acquisition of Garrard House, which was purpose-built as the headquarters for Schroders Investment Management, marks the fund’s first foray into the London commercial property market and represents a long-term outlook.
The 160,000 square foot, 10-floor building was designed specifically to make the best use of daylight and available space.
It is rented in its entirety by Schroders. The London office space costs the investment group around £40 per square foot, and Schroders’ lease expires in 2015.
The long lease that AFIAA has just acquired does not expire until 2196. Swiss investors have not generally been keen on the UK commercial property market, but like other continental investors, have recently been attracted by the weak pound and falling prices.