Aviva sells the Blade in Reading for £40m

Northwood Investors is poised to buy the Blade skyscraper in Reading for a price thought to be around £40m, Property Week can reveal.

Aviva Investors’ landmark building, which at 14 floors is the tallest in the town, spans 110,000 sq ft and is almost 80% let. The purchase price reflects a 7% yield.

The tower, which takes its name from the Sheppard Robson-designed spire on its roof, was put up for sale earlier this summer through Knight Frank.

It hit the market after achieving one of the town’s highest rents last year when law firm Gateley took the top floor at £34/sq ft.

The acquisition will be the latest in a string of investment deals in Reading as investors flock to take advantage of the impact of the Elizabeth Line opening in 2019.

“All this investment activity is very positive news for Reading and shows the foment in the market,” said one market source. “The arrival of Crossrail has clearly aroused investors’ interest in the town.”

As tipped by Property Week in July, Aviva has also sold the Abbey Gate office scheme in Reading to Longmead Capital for £14.8m, reflecting a 7.8% yield.

Tenants of the four-storey building include the Office of the Independent Adjudicator of Higher Education, Quantum, Miranda Technologies and First Group.

Meanwhile, neighbouring offices the Phoenix and the Pinnacle have been sold for £20.5m and £13.5m respectively.

Fidelity UK Real Estate has snapped up the 52,000 sq ft Phoenix from Ediston Property Investment, while Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust has acquired the nextdoor 41,721 sq ft Pinnacle at a yield of 6.15%.

Standard Life is also thought to be under offer to buy another Reading office scheme, Forbury Works, from Boultbee Brooks for around £12m, Property Week understands.

The building sits opposite Reading station and spans 23,000 sq ft.

Knight Frank is advising Aviva on the Blade sale while Hanover Green is advising Northwood Investors. All parties declined to comment.

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