Schroders (SREF) and Stanhope have gained a major pre-let agreement with a government department on a 25-year lease at Two Ruskin Square, which will be a new 10-storey building within its one million sq ft mixed-use development next to East Croydon Station, which follows the successful letting of One Ruskin Square to HM Revenue & Customs in 2017. Two further office sites have outline planning permission for an additional 500,000 sq ft.
Vanessa Clark, owner of Sinclair Clark surveyors, said: “The breaking news of the anticipated letting of 330,000 sq ft to a government department at Ruskin Square Croydon could not come at a better time.
“This speaks volumes for the continued attraction of the town to occupiers underpinned by fantastic infrastructure and connectivity, great amenities and a strong and motivated local authority.
“This will come as much needed reassurance in the current crisis to investors, developers and occupiers as well as encouragement to developer/investors wondering whether to invest in new offices in Croydon. Congratulations to SREF.”
One key attraction of Two Ruskin Square has been its design’s ability to deliver on sustainability targets, essential to Schroders’ commitment to its Better Buildings Partnership agreement. With an all-electric strategy, rainwater harvesting, high performance façade, 35% green roof cover, modular structural design to minimise embodied carbon and other features. The design also includes an outdoor terrace space and bicycle spaces with lockers available for tenant use to promote active lifestyles, as well as three retail units located on the ground floor intended for use by convenience and local amenities to support the community-focused approach to the development as a whole. Subject to planning, construction is anticipated to start on site in the summer, subject with a practical completion target of late 2023.
Jessica Berney, Fund Manager for Schroders said: “Ruskin Square has paved the way in Croydon for attractive, high quality office and residential space, conveniently located and fit-for-purpose. Three years after we welcomed HMRC to Ruskin Square, we are delighted that the scheme is still ticking all the right boxes for employers and visitors, as well as those residents who have made it their home in a first phase of apartments.
“The town continues to attract occupiers to its wealth of community amenities, enviable transport connections and growing workforce thanks to its increasingly favourable reputation among homeowners seeking more affordable alternatives to central London living and recent commitments from university teaching space.
“The potential of Croydon as a location was central to the fund’s decision to invest when we did – in line with our strategy of selective investment in winning locations where fundamentals set the scene for future value and income growth.
“This long-term lease commitment strengthens SREF’s defensive income profile as well as its reversionary potential through contracted RPI rental uplifts throughout. This deal demonstrates the confidence that the tenant has in the town and in Ruskin Square as a developing community within it. We are working closely with them to provide a bespoke workplace for employees and visitors that can be tailored around their current and future requirements. With a further two office and three residential buildings in the pipeline, Ruskin Square is sure to continue to be a focal point of Croydon’s reputation as a thriving London hub.”
Matthew Sims, Croydon BID, commented,
“In these challenging times, it is extremely positive to know that the exciting plans for the future growth of Croydon are in progress. We welcome the news that another large central government department has chosen to make Croydon its future location, and all this will mean for our town centre.".