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Abstract plans £200million Cambridge office scheme near to Arm’s headquarters

A £200million office scheme is in the pipeline for Cambridge beside Arm’s global headquarters.

Abstract Securities’ wholly-owned subsidiary Abstract (Cambridge) Limited has acquired a 9.17-acre (3.71ha) site off Fulbourn Road with Peterhouse, the University of Cambridge college, and hopes to build 300,000 sq ft of offices and car parking there.

Mark Glatman, chief executive of Abstract Securities (38165903)
Mark Glatman, chief executive of Abstract Securities (38165903)

Peterhouse will retain the freehold ownership and granted Abstract a long leasehold interest.

The site is open farmland zoned for business use and lies adjacent to the college-owned Peterhouse Technology Park that is home to Arm.

Abstract, which has retained Scott Brownrigg to design the scheme, will seek planning permission for a range of grade A office buildings that could be occupied by a variety of users for single or multiple occupation, particularly focused on technology, science and knowledge-based sectors.

The site was purchased from Wright’s Clock Land Charity, which was established in 1525 to keep the clock of St Vigor's Church at Fulbourn in good repair and has used any surplus income to repair the steeple and bells.

Mark Glatman, chief executive of Abstract Securities, told the Cambridge Independent: “The completed development value of the envisaged development will be in the order of £200m.”

He added: “We are really excited to be developing in Cambridge. This is a location which we have followed closely for many years and, against a backdrop of so much uncertainty in the world today, we have no hesitation in committing to speculatively build here at the current time.

“Our blend of occupier-focused skills, and tried and tested delivery platform, means that we can quickly deliver first class space into a unique market and befitting its highly skilled workforce.

“We believe Cambridge will be a key engine room to growth as our economy recovers over the coming years.

“We are delighted to have worked on the purchase with Peterhouse, the oldest college in Cambridge, founded in 1284, and we will be maintaining a close relationship throughout the development process in order to realise our aligned ambitions for the land.’’

Abstract said it always adopts a highly sustainable and environmentally-focused approach to its sites, while providing flexible space, which will suit the “diverse range of target occupiers in the Cambridge market”.

Bidwells represented Abstract and Peterhouse in the acquisition, while Cheffins represented the vendor. Abstract was advised by Pinsent Masons and Peterhouse by Mills & Reeve.

The site was proposed for development in 2013, but at that stage the charity said it did not wish to sell the land.

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