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Sager Group in major London land deal – From mail bags to shoppings bags

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Sager Group has completed its transaction with Royal Mail to relocate their Islington delivery office to Eagle Wharf Road and absorb the remaining buildings of the Former North London Sorting Centre into Sager’s Islington Square retail and leisure development, which has an estimated gross development value in excess of £370 million.

The acquisition is part of Sager’s planned regeneration and development of the Former North London Mail Centre, Islington N1 which has been operated by Royal Mail since 1904. The 500,000 sq ft mixed use Islington Square development will incorporate 170,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space along with 356 residential units.  These will be a mixture of private, affordable and serviced apartments.

Sager will develop the site simultaneously to Royal Mail’s building and moving to their new and modern facility which will be operational by summer 2015. Sager has owned the majority of the site for a number of years while it obtained detailed planning consents. During this period it refined the design with the architect CZWG and letting agents. It is now in advanced negotiations with a number of occupiers to take key elements of the scheme.

The new scheme will be launched as Islington Square and will have four pedestrian entrances, one of which will be vehicular.Upper Street will have two, with further accesses from Almeida Street and Studd Street.  Located in the heart of this London village, surrounded by the famous Gibson and Milner Squares, Islington Square will revitalise the heritage of the site whilst creating a new residential and retail hub with a selection of shops, cafes, restaurants, offices, health club and bespoke cinema.

Sager’s construction programme is expected to take 24 months, enabling retailers to open for Christmas 2016.

Giris Rabinovitch, CEO of Sager Group, said: “This transaction marks a major milestone in the development of Islington Square which will become a landmark retail and leisure destination and a welcome addition to this thriving area of London.  It has been more than a decade since acquiring the original site and we are delighted that we have succeeded in bringing this project to life.”

Letting agents for retail and leisure are Cushman & Wakefield, Orme Retail and Shelly Sandzer. Savills, Fraser and Co and Beauchamp Estates are instructed on residential.

Justin Taylor, head of EMEA Retail at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “We are looking forward to creating a unique and eclectic tenant line-up which is in keeping with the creative and affluent nature of Upper Street.  Specifically, we will secure a thriving and complementary mix of fashion brands and restaurants and balance established tenants with exciting independents.”

On the transaction Royal Mail was represented by BNP Paribas Real Estate and Ashurst solicitors. Sager was represented by solicitors Blick & Co and Lewis Silkin.