U+I and Transport for London, public-private joint venture partners on the Liberty of Southwark, have announced that Landsec will be their funding partner for the consented, mixed-use development, following a competitive bidding process.
The Liberty will provide more than 160,000 sq ft of new office space, plus shops, restaurants, cafes, flexible small business workspace and new homes. It will bring more than 1,850 new jobs to the area and 36 residential units, including 12 for social rent and a further 4 for discounted sale.
Landsec, which acquired U+I in December 2021, has paid £54.7m for the land, giving it 100% ownership of The Liberty. The intention is for the scheme to move into Landsec’s Central London Office Portfolio and augment its existing Southwark pipeline including The Forge, Red Lion Court and Timber Square.
The funding deal means work to enhance Crossbones Graveyard and Memorial Garden, a unique post-medieval burial ground adjoining the site, can now progress forward, consistent with the partners’ commitment to safeguarding its future. The local community will also benefit from a range of other public realm improvements, such as new cycle parking and pedestrian routes throughout the development.
The Liberty of Southwark is expected to complete in 2024.
Mike Hood, Managing Director of U+I said on behalf of the JV: “In partnership with TfL, we have developed a vision for The Liberty of Southwark that will transform an under-utilised space to into an imaginative, thriving mixed-use place that will benefit all the people who will live in, work in and visit it. Securing funding is a crucial step forward in realising the potential for this scheme.”
Scott Anderson, Head of Property Development at TfL, said: “We look forward to working with our partners to deliver a sustainable and inclusive development that will have opportunities for small or medium businesses, as well as new homes and new public spaces for Southwark and London. This development is part of our overall portfolio strategy to create sustainable commercial income for TfL, which can be then used to reinvest in the transport network and new homes for London.”
Mark Allan, CEO of Landsec, said: “This deal is another example of Landsec’s strategy in action, recycling capital into higher return opportunities. This is also a great first opportunity for us to fund a project in U+I’s portfolio following our acquisition of the company in December 2021. We said at the time that the acquisition would allow us to accelerate our strategy, and that’s exactly what we are doing.”
U+I and TfL (as the joint venture) were advised by Gowling WLG and Savills. Landsec was advised by Pinsent Mason.