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CPPIB to develop London's Victoria Circle

Victoria Circle, London

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has formed a joint venture with Land Securities Group PLC, the U.K.'s biggest commercial property firm, to develop Victoria Circle, London SW1.

The news comes one day after CPPIB announced its largest real estate investment ever, with the contribution of $1.8-billion (U.S.) to a joint venture that will own 10 regional malls and two redevelopment sites in the U.S.

The pension plan has been ramping up its real estate investments in the last couple of years, in part because it sought to decrease its reliance on stocks and bonds. With its latest investment in U.S. shopping centres, it will become one of the largest institutional investors in that space.

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The Victoria Circle development that CPPIB announced Wednesday will include five new buildings that will be opposite Victoria Station. They will likely take upwards of six years to complete, but once built they will have 910,000 square feet of space that will be a mix of residential, office, retail and public amenities, and is estimated to be worth more than £1-billion.

Land Securities already owned the existing properties on the 5.5 acre Victoria Circle site and is selling them to the joint venture for £163-million. There are currently tenants in the buildings, and so they can't be demolished before September.

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