£1m Liability Saving on St James’s Offices
Our client Towerbrook Capital took occupation of newly built offices in St James’s Market, SW1.
Our client Towerbrook Capital took occupation of newly built offices in St James’s Market, SW1. St James’s Market is located between Regent St and Haymarket in Central London and is a commercial mixed-use development and completed in 2016.
The offices on the upper floors are fitted to Grade A specification and include full air conditioning and raised floors.
To materially reduce our client’s liability to business rates.
Jeff Norris, a member of the DWD Business Rates Team, lodged appeals to argue that the offices were over assessed. For rating purposes, the law requires that the offices had to be valued as though they existed in the open market, vacant and to let on 1 April 2015.
The development did not exist at the valuation date, making the valuation highly hypothetical. We believed the Valuation Officer’s (VO’s) assessment was not capable of being justified and succeeded in persuading the VO to reduce the basis of valuation.
The rateable value was reduced. The reduction was backdated to 1 April 2017. Our client received a refund from Westminster in excess of £1,000,000.
One issue that was not resolved is the appropriateness of the VO’s addition for the Cat B fitout. This is the subject of further ongoing appeal activity.