Saturday 20 January 2018

Green's Vernon developing the most expensive offices in Europe

Stephen Vernon of Green REIT Plc (centre) pictured at the company’s launch held in the Irish Stock Exchange, Dublin. Photo: Robbie Reynolds.
Stephen Vernon of Green REIT Plc (centre) pictured at the company’s launch held in the Irish Stock Exchange, Dublin. Photo: Robbie Reynolds.

Roisin Burke

Part of notorious fraudster Achilleas 'The Don' Kallakis's former empire is being developed by Stephen Vernon's Green Property in a €280m value venture aimed to deliver the most expensive offices in Europe.

Green is building an uber upmarket office block and a luxury mansion for the oligarch market at 7-8 James's Square, in the heart of London's Mayfair hedge-fund lair.

The properties were part of poker-playing Greek conman Kallakis's former portfolio, which was funded by AIB and was central to a €900m fraud case that saw Kallakis, who entertained bankers on his yacht, sentenced to seven years in jail. Green acquired them from AIB.

Green is renovating No 7 St James's Square, a historic Lutyens-designed seven-bedroom mansion, adding a swimming pool, garden and staff quarters, and is likely to sell it for in the region of €80m.

Next door the six-storey office block is being built, to be completed in August. Green expects it to top all previous London office rents, which are the most expensive in Europe. Other sources say Green will seek more than €150 per square foot from a sovereign wealth fund or hedge fund tenant. "It's too expensive for most plcs, although BP has its offices nearby," said one property source.

The completed office development is expected to be worth in excess of €200m according to industry sources, but Green will hold and rent rather than sell.

"That's our most prestigious project ever anywhere and will be worth in the hundreds of millions," Vernon told the Sunday Independent (see full interview inside). "It will command a new high in the London market in terms of the rent we expect. We'll be trying to lease it through this summer and then we'll try and sell the house. That's a very exciting project."

A respected figure in Irish and British commercial property Vernon is actively buying and developing again after several quiet years.

Sunday Indo Business

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