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£435m St Katharine Docks auction in doubt as bidders set sail

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The world’s biggest real estate investor is considering abandoning the sale of one of London’s most prominent developments in a move that could spark concerns about ‎the capital’s property market.

Sky News understands that Blackstone is‎ close to aborting an auction of St Katharine Docks, a marina complex close to Tower Bridge, after bidders baulked at the £435m asking price.

Sources said this weekend that the sale process was likely to be pulled although they cautioned th‎at Blackstone remained in conversations with “a couple” of bidders.

Some prospective buyers are said to have indicated that they would pay no more than £375m for St Katharine Docks, which last changed hands in 2014.

If the process is called off‎, it would represent a rare mis-step for Blackstone, which has established itself as the world’s biggest property investor through its ownership of Hilton Hotels and other huge companies.

More significantly, it would also be the most prominent recent example of a flagship London real estate asset being withdrawn from the market owing to insufficient demand from bidders.

The St Katharine Docks site includes residential and commercial property, and accommodates about 6000 workers across a large number of businesses.

A string of other ‎landmark developments, including the Walkie Talkie and Cheesegrater buildings in the City, have been sold this year for more than £1bn each to Chinese investors.

To date, there have been few signs that Brexit-related uncertainty is casting a shadow over London’s‎ prime property market.

CBRE and GM Real Estate, the property agents, have been overseeing the St Katharine Docks auction.

A Blackstone spokesman declined to comment.


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