‘White elephant’ Ark filled by owner


Property developer GE Real Estate is set to occupy 100,000 square feet of its own office space in the Ark, the landmark building in Hammersmith that quickly became a ‘white elephant’ after a string of insolvent tenants and unwanted vacancies.

The group purchased the building for £49 million back in 2006, and spent a further £20 million refurbishing it. Hoping first to let the property and then sell it on – perhaps for as much as £120 million – GE were disappointed, with little interest occurring.

GE’s plan is to move in employees from three other properties. The deal will mean that the Ark is almost two-thirds let – an unheard-of achievement in all of its 18-year history. 57,000 square feet of office space remains empty.

The Ark was designed by Swedish-based architect Ralph Erskine and construction was completed in 1992, at the end of the last recession.


Image: Geograph