Ruskin Square welcomes HMRC as first office building completes

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (‘SREF’) and its partner Stanhope Plc has confirmed the practical completion of One Ruskin Square, the first Grade A commercial building at its £500 million Ruskin Square scheme, adjacent to East Croydon station.

Designed by shedkm architects with Arup and built by construction manager LendLease, the completed development comprises 183,000 ft² of high quality office space over nine floors, with floor plates ranging from 15,200 ft² to 20,940 ft². The building also includes a 3,570 ft² cafe and reception space, alongside three retail units totalling c.8,000 ft².

In August of this year, SREF and Stanhope confirmed that a landmark deal had been agreed with HM Revenue and Customs (‘HMRC’) for the government department to take the entire 180,000 ft² at One Ruskin Square on a 25-year lease. The building is the first of five prime office developments planned at Ruskin Square, which will provide 1.25 million ft²of new office space in total – creating a high quality business hub for South London.

HMRC will now commence with internal fit out works at One Ruskin Square, before staff move into the building in early 2017.

Ruskin Square itself covers a nine-acre site and is located immediately adjacent to East Croydon station and moments from Croydon’s central business district, where Hammerson and Westfield will be delivering their £1.4bn retail-led regeneration over the coming years. The scheme has its own footbridge directly accessing the station’s platforms providing travel into Central London and Gatwick Airport in 15 minutes.

Last month BOXPARK launched its new shipping container hub as an incubator for new dining operators as a ‘meanwhile use’ on the Ruskin Square site. The scheme’s first residential building also completed in August of this year, delivering the first 161 new homes of a planned 625 at Ruskin Square.

James Lass, Fund Manager, SREF, commented:

“We are delighted to reach this important milestone. One Ruskin Square now sets a new benchmark for attractive, high quality commercial space and a focal point for the re-emergence of Croydon as a thriving London hub. The landmark deal agreed with HMRC in August is testament to the quality of the new quarter we are creating here and we now look forward to welcoming the first employees in early 2017.”

Jason Margrave, Development Director, Stanhope, said:

“The completion of One Ruskin Square is a significant moment in the delivery of Ruskin Square, a thriving new commercial, residential and retail community in the centre of Croydon. The decision by HMRC to locate one of its new office hubs here is a further mark of confidence in both the scheme and the continuing regeneration of Croydon”.

Neil Martin, Managing Director of Lendlease’s European construction business, commented:

“We’re thrilled to have worked with our longstanding clients on transforming this key part of Croydon. By working closely together we were able to add real value throughout the project.”

Hazel Rounding, Director, shedkm architects said:

“The completion of One Ruskin Square marks a significant milestone for the emerging transformation of Croydon. An exposed steel frame provides an iconic scheme to anchor the new district. Responding to both context and occupant needs, the design maximises internal office space and provides an alternative commercial offer for the area. We feel honoured to have played our part in spearheading the Ruskin Square delivery.”

JLL acted for HMRC. Savills and JLL are the retained commercial letting agents for Ruskin Square.