Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s retail empire Sports Direct has scored a winner by selling its London offices to a university for £44m – a healthy profit on the asking price.
Agents Michael Elliott and Savills had sought offers in excess of £38m for the five-floor building at 120 New Cavendish Street, in the heart of the West End.
Set over 32,500sqft, the virtual freehold 980-year lease has been sold to the University of Westminster.
The impressive 21-page prospectus for the building suggests the new owners could create “an exceptional residential development in a prime central London location”, including CGIs to show how it could be developed into a residential scheme with 27 luxurious apartments.
It also suggests an additional two storeys of accommodation could be added to the existing building, subject to the necessary consents.
The potential to carry out a major office refurbishment, with the addition of two extra floors, is also put forward in the brief.
The central London offices currently house a number of Mr Ashley’s investments, including the retail firm MySale, along with Sports Direct staff who will eventually move to other offices.
The university said it will use the building as extra teaching space for its 20,000 students.
Meanwhile, Mike Ashley is said to have ploughed £200m into the creation of a luxury home development in Chelsea.
It is believed he has funded a deal to buy a storage depot in Chelsea from John Lewis, with plans to build 62 flats and seven townhouses that could be worth as much as £900m once finished.