Mixed-use Allies & Morrison scheme will include offices and residential

Property investment company CLS has said it will start developing its £400m Vauxhall Square scheme in 2017.

In its latest full year results, the company said it was also considering bringing in a specialist partner for the development of the residential part of the south London project, while it concentrates on the commercial element.

Designed by Allies & Morrison, the site is next door to Vauxhall’s transport hub and is expected to be developed in two phases – with the first beginning next year and comprising demolition of existing buildings, construction of a three-storey basement and the construction of a 188,370 sq ft of Grade A offices and a residential tower.

The news follows approval last month of amendments to the company’s planning application, which will see 108,586 sq ft of office space to replace a four-star hotel. This brings the total office element in the scheme to 255,000 sq ft.

CLS said it expected to have possession of the site by the end of this year and had also sold a car park at the site to specialist student accommodation developer Urbanest for £24.8m. The site has permission for a 30-storey 454-bed student tower and Urbanest expects to start work on this later this year.

Meanwhile, CLS has posted a drop in profits to £151m for 2015, from £237m for 2014, which it attributed to a fall in property valuations.

But revenue for the company jumped 19% to £119m for 2015, up from £100m for 2014.  CLS’s overall portfolio also rose 7.7% over the year to £1.5bn.

The firm, which said it wants the UK to remain in the EU, warned the forthcoming referendum on the issue could cause “temporary political and economic uncertainty” in the UK and that the uncertainty was impacting investor decisions.

Chairman Sten Mortstedt said he believed the UK’s commercial property market would perform well this year due to an excess of tenant demand compared to office supply and that outside of the EU referendum the country’s economy would continue to grow.