In addition to the 200,000 sq ft St George’s House building which was occupied by Nestlé - the food and drinks giant – until 2012, the Queen’s Square site includes the 250,000 sq ft St George’s Walk, as well as Segas House and Ellis House.
In total, the acquired sites have development potential for over 1,000 residential units: 288 of within the former Nestlé offices which already have planning permission and a further 800 units within St George’s Walk.
News of the estimated £60m deal with Minerva was revealed in Property Week magazine and is thought to be the Chinese developer’s first acquisition in Europe.
Speaking on behalf of R&F Properties, Xia Ning said: “As a newcomer to the UK market, we are excited to bring our expertise and enthusiasm to this significant town centre scheme.
“We aspire to provide positive real estate schemes across the world and look forward to working closely with the local community, businesses and stakeholders, to deliver the most appropriate scheme for the benefit of the borough.”
A Minerva spokesperson said: “Having spent the last couple of years investing in the overall Queen’s Square site, we now believe this is the right time for another party to deliver this vitally important project for Croydon.
“The St George’s House planning permission has been implemented, existing Section 106 Agreement revised and a masterplan has been prepared and discussed with Croydon Council.
“It will now be for R&F Properties to consider the most appropriate way to bring the scheme forward, however we have no doubt the result will be something the town can be proud of and we look forward to following progress, whilst we focus on our other land holdings in the area.”
Tom Moore, director at CBRE which acted on the Chinese developer’s behalf said: “This is a fantastic investment for R&F Properties and one of the largest London residential development deals to have taken place this year.
“It will provide a huge boost to Croydon, which due to its affordability and strong infrastructure is becoming an increasingly popular part of London.”