Almacantar Lord’s it over rivals at home of cricket
Property Week

Almacantar Lord’s it over rivals at home of cricket

At least one Mike Hussey is happy with English cricket, as former LandSecs man enters exclusive talks.

Mike Hussey’s Almacantar is poised to unlock a £400m redevelopment of Lord’s cricket ground, in the week when England sealed their first Ashes series victory in Australia for 24 years.

As Property Week went to press, the former Land Securities executive was understood to be entering into exclusive talks with Marylebone Cricket Club to develop the residential phase of its “Vision for Lord’s”, which is likely to cost £400m including land acquisitions.

Almacantar would buy the leasehold of a 3.5 acre residential plot from the MCC on the eastern fringe of the ground, at St John’s Wood in north-west London.

It would pay more than £100m, and then develop a high-end 300,000 sq ft residential scheme on the site.

The MCC would use the proceeds from the sale to fund phase two of its plans, which involve increasing the ground’s capacity by 7,500 seats to 36,900, creating an underground cricket academy and building a museum under the Nursery End of the ground.

Native Land and Capital & Counties had also made it on to a shortlist of three bidders, which was revealed in September, to partner the MCC.

The preferred development partner was due to be announced last month, but England’s successful Ashes campaign Down Under has slowed proceedings.

Now, Property Week understands that the MCC has indicated that neither Native Land nor CapCo’s bids were successful.

Meanwhile, Almacantar is on the verge of entering into a three-month exclusivity period with the MCC to agree the finer details of the arrangement.

West End agents believe the completed homes, to be built across five blocks, could be worth up to £2,500/sq ft. This would make the completed scheme worth £750m.

Almacantar is also thought to have brokered an agreement with the Rifkind Levy Partnership, which owns the leasehold of redundant railway tunnels that sit beneath the development site.

The tunnels were included in architect Herzog & de Meuron’s original masterplan and could be used as part of the final residential development.

Should the proposal be finalised, it would be Almacantar’s second high-profile London deal in recent months.

The company is undertaking due diligence on Centre Point at present, one of the assets put up for sale after the collapse of two subsidiaries of property company Targetfollow.