Our year of progress

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Top brands move into Buchanan Street

Our new development at 185-221 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, is creating 10,800m2 of new retail and restaurant space on one of the UK’s busiest shopping streets. In April 2011 we welcomed our first occupiers, with pre-lettings to Paperchase and Gap, and fashion retailer Forever21 agreeing to take an anchor store. During the year we signed further deals with Fat Face, Skechers, Watches of Switzerland and Office. Now 91.8% pre-let by income, the scheme is on schedule for completion in spring 2013.

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New Ludgate scheme

In June 2011 we secured planning permission for our 35,050m2 office development at 30 Old Bailey and 60 Ludgate Hill in the City of London. The mixed-use scheme – now renamed New Ludgate – is replacing outdated 1960s properties with high quality offices, restaurant and retail space, improved links for pedestrians and new public areas. Demolition has been completed and we will time the start and completion of construction in line with market conditions.

 
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Just the job

In the summer we announced a new initiative to help Londoners get back into employment. This has brought together partners in the public and private sectors to ring-fence jobs and offer training opportunities in construction at new developments. Our partners on the programme include the Greater London Authority, Job Centre Plus, The London Probation Trust, the City of London Corporation and major UK contractors. To start, we announced we would set aside 100 job opportunities, 60 National Vocational Qualifications and five full-time apprenticeships at our 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3, joint venture scheme with Canary Wharf Group Plc.

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A good time for Bath

August saw us complete the acquisition of the Kingsmead leisure and restaurant complex in the popular tourist city of Bath. This £20m transaction has gained us a 8,400m2 property that is home to brands such as Nando’s, TGI Friday’s and Fitness First, along with the only multiplex cinema in the city. The acquisition underlines the increasing importance of leisure in our retail offer.

 
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Retail expert joins the Board

November saw the announcement that a new Non-executive was to join our Board. Stacey Rauch is a Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company, where she worked for 24 years. She was a founding partner of McKinsey’s New Jersey office and she served as the head of the firm’s North American Retail and Apparel Practice. During her career Stacey has worked with a wide range of retailers, apparel wholesalers and consumer goods manufacturers. She joined Land Securities in January 2012.

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Goodbye to Corby

In October we sold Corby town centre, together with shopping and leisure destination Willow Place, for £70m. We acquired these assets six years ago. Since then, we have expanded the retail offering considerably and strengthened the town’s position. The time was right for us to hand the assets on to someone else and reinvest the funds in new opportunities.

Awards in 2011 included:

  • Property Week Property Awards 2011 – Developer of the Year
  • Property Managers Association Awards – Landlord of the Year
  • Estates Gazette Awards 2011 – National Property Company of the Year
  • BCSC Gold Awards 2011 – In-Town Retail Scheme (300,000 sq ft or less) for One New Change, EC4
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards 2011 – One New Change, EC4
 
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London ventures go from strength to strength

February brought news that Land Securities and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board had formed the Victoria Circle Limited Partnership – a 50:50 joint venture to own and develop Victoria Circle, SW1. The partnership will take to completion the development of five new buildings occupying the island site opposite Victoria Station. Across town, our joint venture scheme with Canary Wharf Group Plc at 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3, has made good progress.

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A change at the top

At the end of the year, Francis Salway handed over the Chief Executive role to Robert Noel. Francis joined Land Securities in 2000 and became Chief Executive in 2004. Under his leadership, the Company delivered more than 7.4 million m2 of development projects and continued to lead the UK commercial property market. Robert commented: “I have enjoyed my two years running the London Portfolio and I am now looking forward to leading the Group. I would particularly like to thank Francis for his support. On behalf of everyone at Land Securities, I wish him well for the future.”