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Clifford Chance advises Helical and Ashby Capital on relocation of Sainsbury's London HQ to The JJ Mack Building

6 December 2023

Clifford Chance advises Helical and Ashby Capital on relocation of Sainsbury's London HQ to The JJ Mack Building

Global law firm Clifford Chance has advised long standing clients Helical plc and Ashby Capital on the letting of the first, second and third floors of The JJ Mack Building, 33 Charterhouse Street, EC1 to J. Sainsbury plc. Sainsbury’s is expected to relocate from its current London base at 33 Holborn in the next two years, taking a reduced footprint of 68,002 sq ft in the eco-friendly office space located adjacent to Farringdon station.

The transaction follows the announcement by the joint venture partners last month that Clifford Chance had advised them in connection with the letting of the ninth floor to Corio Generation, a subsidiary of Macquarie Group. Prior to that the firm advised Helical plc and Ashby Capital on the letting of the sixth and seventh floors to Partners Group.

Real Estate Partner Ian Painter who led on the transaction said: "It has been incredibly rewarding for our team to work on this HQ relocation and to help deliver another significant letting at The JJ Mack Building which takes the building to 58% occupancy. The duo of recent lettings across five floors of this in-demand, environmentally friendly building further demonstrates the bifurcation taking place in the office market between best in class space and the rest. One of the best parts of our role is to see a project all the way through and to be able to provide our clients with the full range of expertise they need from within our team. The J Sainsbury's and Corio lettings at The JJ Mack Building are great examples of continued tenant demand for well-located buildings with great amenities and outstanding sustainability credentials."

Gerald Kaye, Chief Executive of Helical plc, commented: “The Clifford Chance team, ably led by Ian Painter, did their usual extremely efficient job of ensuring the deal was well documented in a tight time scale."

Ian was supported by Real Estate senior associate Holly Porter as well as Head of UK Real Estate Construction Marianne Toghill and senior associate Adam Waite on construction; Head of Environment & Planning Nigel Howorth, senior associate Katie Kempthorne and associate Kate Mackintosh on planning; and partner Laura Smallcombe on financing support to the joint venture.

Clifford Chance has been working with Helical plc and Ashby Capital in relation to The JJ Mack Building since the outset, including on the formation of their joint venture, the corporate acquisition of the development site, the associated development management arrangements, rights of light and planning matters, the construction and now the leasing up of the building.

The JJ Mack Building was completed on 30 September 2022 and comprises 200,450 sq ft of offices with 5,511 sq ft of ground floor retail. The building is EPC A and is anticipated to receive both a BREEAM Outstanding rating and a NABERS 5* assessment for energy in use. It has been completed to a high specification incorporating market-leading technology and includes three large roof terraces with uninterrupted views over London.