TRANSPORT for London’s (TfL) commercial property subsidiary, TTL Properties (TTLP), has selected Helical as its preferred investment partner for its sustainable commercial office portfolio across central London.

The partnership will be formed through a joint venture, in which TfL will hold 49% in with Helical taking 51% as the majority stakeholder. The contract, awarded on February 15, is subject to contract negotiations and a 10-day standstill period.

Helical was selected following a competitive procurement process. TTLP, advised by JLL and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, assessed the potential partners' sustainability strategies, partnering approach, and investment proposals for three new commercial office developments at Bank, Paddington and Southwark.

The partnership will see the delivery of new high-quality and sustainable office space above or close to the London Underground stations. All three sites have full planning permission to deliver sustainable commercial office developments.

Bank Over-Station Development: located above the new entrance to the London Underground (LU) station on Cannon Street, the eight-storey development, along with a basement, will include both office and retail space, measuring around 13,000m2 Net Internal Area (NIA), external terraces on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors and a green roof. Work is expected to start on site next year.

Paddington Over-Station Development: located by the Grand Union Canal and close to the new Elizabeth Line station at Paddington. There is planning permission to deliver new office and retail space measuring around 21,832m2 NIA in the 19-storey building. It will include a canal side reception and use a ground and air source heat pump system. A start on site is anticipated in 2026.

Southwark Over-Station Development: located above Southwark station on LU's Jubilee Line, the 17-storey hybrid timber building is set to be one of the greenest and healthiest large-scale commercial buildings in Britain. Offering around 20,438m2 NIA, it will provide a mixture of commercial office space and retail space and has external terraces on most floors Construction is expected to start in 2025.

The joint venture will purchase leasehold interests in the sites from TfL and establish individual property companies for each of the sites. The sites will then be developed directly by the companies, which will be funded with equity and debt. Other properties and development opportunities may in the future be acquired by the joint venture, expanding the partnership’s portfolio, subject to feasibility and assessment.

The sites will fully incorporate a focus on active travel, with the three sites collectively providing almost 900 cycle spaces along with a close proximity to public transport.

Northern Line extension explored

Separately, a report from Wandsworth Council says extending the Northern Line from the current terminus at Battersea Power Station to Clapham Junction would provide "significant new and improved journey opportunities.” Wandsworth's ruling Labour Party promised to investigate whether an extension of the Northern Line to Clapham Junction was viable at the local elections in May 2022.

Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station opened as the newest stations on the Northern Line in 2021. The report includes a proposal to appoint transport consultants to develop a broad outline case for another Northern Line extension to Clapham Junction, including estimated cost, benefits and constraints. It calls the extension a “key element of improving public transport.”

“A pre-feasibility study would help identify if an extension of the Northern Line is likely to be a good or best option for serving the local and wider areas and would provide a useful assessment to assist the council in promoting the scheme to third parties and raising its public profile,” the report adds.