When we acquired 30 St Mary Axe
jointly with IVG for £600 million in 2007, we recognised that the asset’s iconic status on the London skyline carried considerable brand value. We took steps to legally protect not only the world famous nickname "The Gherkin" but also the depiction of the building for commercial and other uses. Wherever we found abuse of the brand or the building’s visual identity, we took appropriate measures to prevent this. When The Gherkin was sold in 2014 following IVG’s corporate insolvency in Germany, it achieved a market leading price of £726 million. This reflected not only the focused asset management which ensured the building consistently achieved top rents throughout a very challenging occupier market, but also the strength of the brand which had been managed and enhanced since acquisition.
In 2012 London’s super-prime residential market was dominated by high net worth individuals looking for truly prestigious investments. When 3 Carlton Gardens
came on the market in the same year, we saw the opportunity to convert this Grade II-listed building back into a luxurious private residence, working in partnership with renowned luxury residential developer Spink Property. We recognised the inherent brand value in the property’s unique location on The Mall, its proximity to Buckingham Palace and views overlooking The Mall and St James's Park, which we capitalized on with a large scale residential redevelopment with a gym, pool and an underground extension.