Aviva Investors puts Blade skyscraper on sale for £40m

Aviva Investors has brought the Blade office building in Reading to market at a guide price of £40m and is on the verge of selling another office in the town, Abbey Gate, Property Week can reveal.

The fund manager has appointed Knight Frank to sell the 14-floor skyscraper, The Blade, which is the tallest building in the town.

The asking price for the heavily-glazed 110,000 sq ft building, which was developed in 2009 and stands at 128 metres tall, reflects a yield of 7%.

Last year, Aviva secured one of the highest rents ever achieved in Reading when it signed up law firm Gateley to the 7,200 sq ft top floor at a rent of £34/sq ft. The scheme is now almost 80% let.

The Blade, which takes its name from the Sheppard Robson-designed spire on its roof, is located in the town centre close to Reading railway station, which will be served by the Elizabeth line from December 2019.

A market source said that the Blade would “attract strong interest from buyers both local and international”.

For sale on Abbey Gate

Meanwhile, Aviva is also close to selling the four-storey Abbey Gate office scheme, also located in Reading town centre. The building is believed to be under offer to Longmead Capital for around £15m.

The scheme, situated on Kings Road, was part-refurbished in 2015. Tenants include the Office of the Independent Adjudicator of Higher Education, Quantum, Miranda Technologies and First Group.

The news will be a welcome boost for the South East office investment market, which has been sluggish this year. Second quarter deal volumes totalled £451m making it the weakest Q2 in the past five years, according to Gerald Eve.

This year more than 500,000 sq ft of new stock will be added to the Reading market with the completion of four speculatively developed offices: M&G Real Estate’s 2 Forbury Place and R+; Boultbee Brooks’ White Building and Landid Property and Brockton Capital’s Thames Tower.

Strutt & Parker advised Aviva Investors for Abbey Gate, JLL represented Longmead. All parties declined to comment.

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