19 Jan 2011
LG advises The Threadneedle Low Carbon Workplace Trust in its first purchase
Lawrence Graham LLP ("LG") partner Robert Adam has advised The Threadneedle Low-Carbon Workplace Trust, the first fund to be launched in conjunction with the Carbon Trust, in its initial purchase of four buildings for £42 million.
The fund will refurbish ageing office buildings to make them more environmentally efficient. Stanhope will undertake the refurbishments as the fund's development partner and will focus on reducing carbon. The redeveloped properties are expected to have a finished value of £54 million.
Launched in 2010, the LCW Trust was formed to provide an investment vehicle offering exposure to a low carbon workplace UK commercial real estate portfolio. The LCW Trust's investment strategy is unique within the UK commercial real estate investment sector, being focused on satisfying the growing demand for low carbon workplaces and providing the solution to the single specific low-carbon issue readily identified by occupiers. It aims to raise up to £350 million from institutional investors to buy and refurbish up to 50 properties.
Robert Adam, partner, LG, said: "This is the only fund backed by the Carbon Trust which gives it additional credibility and differentiates it from the rest of the market. Occupiers are increasingly seeking accommodation which meets efficiency standards and their own corporate social responsibility objectives. With 90 per cent of office buildings in the UK more than ten years old and likely to be non-compliant with efficiency standards, we expect to see considerable investment from funds seeking similar refurbishment and redevelopment opportunities."
The four properties are 1-4 The Billings, Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, GU1 4UL; Premier House, Twickenham; Mansel Court, Wimbledon Hill Road, London, SW19 4AA; and Grove House, 27 Hammersmith Grove, London, W6 0NE.
The Threadneedle Low-Carbon Workplace Trust has also signed its first tenant for one of the properties. Thames Valley Housing Association has agreed to occupy Premier House in Twickenham which will be refurbished to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. Thames Valley Housing Association has also become the first organisation to sign the Low Carbon Workplace Charter with Low Carbon Workplace Ltd, a Carbon Trust subsidiary. The Charter is an ongoing commitment undertaken by the tenant to minimise its carbon emissions while occupying the premises.