Grosvenor's operation in Britain and Ireland is the largest within the
group, representing 63% of the assets. Our London portfolio is the core
of the UK business, but much of our business is regional, focused on
the areas surrounding three cities - London, Edinburgh and Dublin. Research
is a fundamental part of our business and we have built a detailed understanding
of these centres and the local markets and issues.
The Grosvenor theme of partnership underscored our investment, development
and fund management activities in 1999. Our partners include institutions,
companies and local authorities. We value these long-term business relationships
highly; they enable us to broaden our exposure to different markets
and we learn from working with other investors from the UK and elsewhere.
Grosvenor's development programme covers a broad spectrum of sectors
and geographical areas and, with a total completion value of £800 million,
we are one of the most active developers in the UK.
Since the mid-60s, Grosvenor has been closely associated with town centre
shopping. Growing restrictions on big out-of-town developments mark
a renaissance for the town centre, long Grosvenor's preferred area of
We believe that the advent of e-commerce is challenging the traditional
view of retailing and will contribute to the rebirth of our towns and
cities as centres that have to offer an exciting mix of retail, leisure
and culture and be attractive places in which to live and work.
Our major scheme to remodel Basingstoke town centre is under way funded
by Equitable Life, Hermes, NPI and Grosvenor through a Limited Partnership.
We have also been invited by Preston Borough Council to prepare plans
for the redevelopment of a major part of Preston town centre. In Ireland,
we have continued with the expansion of Liffey Valley, a shopping centre,
retail and leisure park outside Dublin, totalling 139,350m2 (1.5 million
In 1999, Enron Europe Ltd moved into a 20,000m2 (215,000 sq ft) office
building at 40 Grosvenor Place which was jointly developed by Grosvenor
and Mountcity plc. We created a three-way partnership with Enron and
the main contractor, John Laing Construction, which enabled us to integrate
base build and fit-out, saving six months and approximately10% of the
total fit-out cost.
Fund management is an increasingly important part of our business. Two
further acquisitions were made for the Arkle Fund, a £300 million retail
investment fund with partners PGGM (the Dutch pension fund) and Equitable
Life. GMETRO, a fund for investing in central London offices, was launched
with an initial investment of £175 million and there are plans for it
to grow much larger. Our partners in GMETRO are PFA (the Danish pension
fund), PGGM and NFU Mutual.
The London Estate forms the heart of Grosvenor's residential portfolio
of 771,360m2 (8.3 million sq ft) and with 493,760m2 (5.3 million sq
ft) of offices and 109,120m2 (1.2 million sq ft) of retail. The Group
owns the substantial office buildings around Belgravia's periphery and
the apartments of Eaton Square. The remaining area is owned by Grosvenor
Trusts and managed by the Group. We carry out a constant programme of
improvement across the portfolio through development, investment and
asset management including innovative leasing policies. In maintaining
and enhancing these world famous districts, we work closely with occupiers,
residents and business groups, voluntary organisations, local authorities
and heritage groups.
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