PHILLIPS LAW ACTS ON THE GRANT OF THE NEW AA HEADQUARTERS AT PLANT, BASINGSTOKE
PHILLIPS LAW ACTS ON THE GRANT OF THE NEW AA HEADQUARTERS AT PLANT, BASINGSTOKE

5 February 2024

Phillips Law is delighted to have advised Mactaggart Family & Partners and Longstock Capital Limited on a multi-million-pound agreement for lease with The AA to move their headquarters to Plant in Basingstoke. The AA will be taking over 41,000 sq ft of office space on two floors of the building for a term of 15 years. The agreement, which exchanged in January 2024, was led by Partner Clare Strachan with assistance from Sophie Darwish and Sam Alvis.

Plant, previously called Mountbatten House, is an iconic Grade II listed building in Basingstoke with renowned listed gardens. It is currently being redeveloped to provide c.150,000 sq ft of modern office space, with The AA being the first corporate occupier to exchange a pre-let agreement at the building.

The transaction involved complex negotiations and working towards an ambitious timeframe, as exchange had to be simultaneous with the exchange of the AA’s agreement to surrender the lease of their existing headquarters at Fanum House with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

The Agreement for Lease is conditional both on the landlord’s Cat A works and the tenant’s Cat B fit out works, with tailored drafting required to deal with various commercial arrangements negotiated between the parties including on the appointment and tender process for the Cat B works, agreed contribution costs and mechanisms for tenant variations and extras.

Phillips Law worked closely with Hugo Denée and Tristan De Souza of Longstock Capital Limited who issued instructions on the transaction, the team at Circle Developments who are project managing the redevelopment works and with Charles Russell Speechlys LLP who supported on the construction aspects of the project, led by Partner Fiona Edmond. The AA was represented by Womble Bond Dickinson.

Clare Strachan, Partner at Phillips Law said:

“It has been a pleasure to act on this high profile letting for Mactaggart Family & Partners and Longstock Capital Limited and achieve the parties’ tight deadline. It is especially rewarding when we are instructed on a project from pre-let phase through to completion and, with Plant being on our doorstep, we have been able to tangibly see the redevelopment take shape since our first site visit nearly two years ago. The modern and innovative office space our client is creating is brilliant for the Basingstoke corporate occupier market and we look forward to working with them on the subsequent pre-lets as buoyant occupier interest in the building intensifies.”

Hugo Denée, Director at Longstock Capital said:

“Thank you to Clare and the team at Phillips Law who did a fantastic job and worked incredibly diligently to bring together a transaction with lots of moving parts. They provided clear and concise legal advice whilst exercising pragmatism and offering commercially workable solutions as negotiations became increasingly complex.

The AA are a fantastic pre let for our Grade II listed office refurbishment. An agreement for lease for 15 years shows commitment to the town and demonstrates that major occupiers are willing to take long term commitments in well designed and ESG compliant office space. We look forward to welcoming the AA to their new headquarters later this year and working with the Phillips team on the remaining pre-lets.”

A link to the press release issued by Longstock Capital Limited on LinkedIn can be read here for further deal details. The building is being marketed by Mark Taylor & Stuart Chambers from Savills and Chris Barrs & Rhodri Shaw from Hollis Hockley.

For advice on lease agreements or any other commercial property matters, please get in touch with the team by emailing [email protected] or call 01256 460830.

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