React News - Prime Oxford redevelopment opportunity in play

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A prime site in central Oxford that has the potential for an office redevelopment or lab-led development is expected to attract offers in the region of £30m.

Knight Frank and Kimmre have been instructed to sell 19-24 Queens Street, which has planning permission in place for an office redevelopment project. There is full consent for a 70,500 sq ft office and retail scheme, although it could also be amended to provide a city centre lab redevelopment.

The site was purchased by Fora in 2020 –Brockton Everlast’s coworking business – prior to its sale to Blackstone’s The Office Group (TOG). The property is located on the corner of Queens Street and St Ebbes Street, Oxford’s prime city centre commercial and retail pitch.

The sale is being marketed as a brown-to green ESG-led scheme opportunity on a site that can command premium rents. Oxford has experienced significant rental growth, with office rents having grown 30% in the past two years, according to recent research from Knight Frank.

Oxford has established itself as one of Europe’s most successful life sciences clusters. Prime office rents for the city are around £65/sq ft while the top lab space is circa £85/sq ft.

There is virtually no consented pipeline of either offices or labs in Oxford city centre, leading one investor looking at the site to describe it as one of the best development opportunities in the Golden Triangle.

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