Developer set to start major London re-furb job and Glasgow retail centre

Developer British Land is to push ahead with a major refurbishment of its office building at 199 Bishopsgate, and is close to starting work on a major retail centre in Glasgow.

The developer, announcing third quarter results, also confirmed it will continue to push on with construction of its flagship Richard Rogers-designed Cheesegrater building at Leadenhall, along with the NEQ development in Euston.

It has already spent £1.9bn in total development and acquisition activity this year.

British Land said plans were “well under way” to create a new 45,000 sq ft leisure centre at the Glasgow Fort Shopping Park, with negotiations almost concluded with a major cinema operator. 

It said it was also close to signing up a number of restaurant brands for the development.

It said it had made a commitment to refurbish the 142,000 sq ft 199 Bishopsgate, which sits opposite the recently completed 201 Bishopsgate, with planning permission already received.

The refurbishment will be complete “towards the end of 2012.”

In addition it said demolition and ground works are expected to start later this year for the £59m redevelopment of Marble Arch House, bought last month.

The building will be complete in mid-2013.

Overall British Land said it made £119min pre-tax profit, up 6% on 2009, with the net value of its assets having increased 11% from March, to £4.9bn.

The gross value of its property portfolio increased 2.3% in the quarter, to £9.3bn, up 13% on a year ago.

Chief executive Chris Grigg said immediate growth would be muted by “uncertainty around the near-term impact of the government’s austerity programme.”

He said: “We have focused our business on those sectors of the property market where we believe the underlying demand dynamics - high quality retail and central London offices - are expected to remain positive.

“As anticipated, we are starting to see property coming to market at more realistic prices than was the case for most of calendar year 2010. 

“We have made a number of attractive investments in the quarter with further deals under review.”