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Office to residential conversion: new development is 'vote of confidence'

The green light for a vacant office building in the capital to be redeveloped into residential housing has been given after it was acquired by a large developer.

The deal is thought to be one of the largest residential transactions to take place since the start of lockdown and will see 137 new homes delivered.

Great Marlborough Estates - which describes the redevelopment as a 'vote of confidence' for the London property market - has acquired the one-acre site Empire House, which overlooks Chiswick High Road in West London.

The site was acquired from Lendlease which was advised by Knight Frank, while Great Marlborough Estates - which is behind more than £1.5 billion of residential development across London - was advised by JLL.

Office to residential conversion: new development is 'vote of confidence'

The vacant office tower will be revamped to create 66 apartments and, Essex Place - which sits just behind - will be converted into a site of 46 apartments and four townhouses. A further 21 apartments will be developed at the corner of Essex Place and Acton Lane.

In line with changing consumer tastes post-lockdown, each home will have private outdoor space in the form of either a balcony or garden.

"Whilst Covid-19 has undoubtedly created some uncertainty, we remain committed to the long-term outlook for London and the capital’s property market thanks to strong underlying fundamentals," says Grant Lipton, co-founder of Great Marlborough Estates.

"London will remain a pre-eminent global hub for business, culture and leisure, all of which will feed into demand for housing in the city."

Pete Ladhams, managing director of Assael Architecture, the firm designing the development, adds: "The redevelopment of this site presents a rare opportunity to reimagine and reinvigorate this part of Chiswick in a way that adds to the existing heritage and green space."

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