Lendlease put the development site up for sale two years ago after encountering substantial local opposition to its plans.
Empire House tower was built in 1961 as offices on the site of the former Chiswick Empire theatre in west London. Government legislation now makes it possible to convert offices to residential space under permitted development rights.
Great Marlborough Estates plans to 66 apartments in the office tower itself. At Essex Place, which sits behind Chiswick High Road, 46 apartments and four townhouses will be built, with a further 21 apartments developed at the corner of Essex Place and Acton Lane.
According to the developer, the deal is one of the largest residential transactions to take place since Covid-19 struck and represents ‘a major vote of confidence in London’s housing market’.
Great Marlborough Estates was founded by Grant Lipton (son of Stanhope’s Stuart Lipton) and Dean Clifford. It is behind more than £1.5bn of residential development across London.
Grant Lipton said: “Whilst Covid-19 has undoubtedly created some uncertainty, we remain committed to the long-term outlook for London and the capital’s property market thanks to strong underlying fundamentals. London will remain a preeminent global hub for business, culture and leisure, all of which will feed into demand for housing in the city.
“Acquiring this site in Chiswick marks a significant milestone for Great Marlborough Estates, further expanding our portfolio across London. Alongside providing high quality, well designed new homes, the redevelopment of Empire House will further enhance Chiswick High Road and open up new opportunities for the local area providing a great place for those who live, work and visit Chiswick.”
Pete Ladhams, managing director at Assael Architecture, said: “The redevelopment of this site presents a rare opportunity to reimagine and reinvigorate this part of Chiswick in a way that adds to the existing heritage and green space. We have enjoyed working with Great Marlborough Estates to repurpose the existing building to create a unique residential neighbourhood and a destination fronting on to Chiswick High Road. Our design has sought to remain contemporary, but sympathetic to the heritage and character situated on the bustling High Road and tranquillity of Turnham Green.”