MSREF to sell 50% stake in £1bn London development

More than three years after Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing bought the stake in the Elizabeth House office block in Waterloo, the firm is seeking to offload the asset after its redevelopment plans were rejected.

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing is to sell a 50 percent stake in an office and residential redevelopment scheme in central London after its planning application for the scheme was rejected.

According to a report by UK commercial property magazine Estates Gazette, UK REITs Land Securities and British Land are two of four bidding parties on the 240,000 square foot Elizabeth House office block in Waterloo, just south of the River Thames. The other two parties were not identified.

The block has been valued at £80 million currently, although MSREF had planned to increase its worth to £1 billion ($1.68 billion; €1.11 billion) by developing two office buildings and a residential tower.

Its plans were rejected because the communities minister, John Denham, said it would “materially detract from the size and importance of Big Ben” as well as affect views of Westminster.

MSREF’s decision means that minority owner P&O Estates, part of Dubai’s DP World, would have to sell its 10 percent position. DP World sold MSREF its stake in the scheme in February 2006.

CB Richard Ellis has been appointed to market the sale.