With new developments regularly popping up in all parts of the country, Property Investor Today carries out a quick round-up of the latest on offer to buyers and investors.
It was recently revealed that Fortwell Capital, a key lender to developers and investors within the UK real estate sector, has provided a £15 million facility to Goldenstone (a design-led, boutique developer) for the creation of a 35-unit residential scheme in Ealing, West London.
The Mall, set to have a gross development value (GDV) of circa £23.5 million, will offer 27 one and two-bedroom apartments for private sale, as well as eight affordable homes and ground-floor commercial space. Construction is already underway, with completion expected in early 2021.
Situated in the heart of Ealing, The Mall has good access to the Underground, mainline railway and forthcoming Crossrail stations at Ealing Broadway, as well as nearby shops, restaurants and parks.
The facility is Fortwell’s second major loan to a London residential scheme in less than a year and marks their first residential construction loan in London since 2016. This, the lender says, reinforces its confidence in the London market for those schemes ‘in locations demonstrating strong growth fundamentals’.
The new loan also brings the amount deployed by Fortwell in 2019 to over £275 million, with the lender’s loan book covering a diverse range of locations – from the Midlands, Manchester and Leeds to Scotland and London – and sectors including offices, care homes, industrial/logistics and residential.
“In an excellent location, and being developed by Goldenstone’s proven team, The Mall represents a great opportunity to capitalise on the latent demand for residential space in this corner of London,” Arthur Jennings, managing director of Fortwell Capital, said.
“Concluding this financing just days before the UK General Election, at a time when some lenders were wary of the London market, demonstrates our clear commitment to the capital.”
Adam Hunter, managing director of Goldenstone, added: “Working with Fortwell means dealing with a team that genuinely understands the market we are operating in, and the confidence and expertise to move quickly. We look forward to working with Fortwell to deliver a first-class scheme.”
Elsewhere, a former office building in Kidderminster is to be converted into new homes following a £385,000 deal sealed by property agents John Truslove.
New owners Mario Construction have secured planning permission to convert the former BT building, at 75 Mill Street, into single-bedroom flats, and hope to give it a new lease of life as a result.
Mario Wojcik and his team aim to start work shortly on converting the distinctive three-storey office building into 13 individual apartments.
Jay Mann, from Mario Construction, said: “Our main focus as a building company is pre-fabricated homes but we work on conversions as well. We saw this property was up for sale and it was clear from the start it represented a significant opportunity, so we approached John Truslove.”
He said Ben Truslove, joint managing director at John Truslove, was brilliant to work with, ‘letting us see the building and communicating with us during the process so we always knew what was happening. It was a very positive experience.”
Ben Truslove himself added: “There were a number of bids for this property, but Mario and his team were clearly the best option for the owner.”
He said the area is a mixed one of residential, commercial and retail properties and clearly lends itself to conversion from offices to homes, further highlighted by the Wyre Forest Council decision to grant planning permission for Mario Construction’s proposals.
“These new homes will help fill a continuing need in the Kidderminster and Wyre Forest area and we look forward to seeing the development taking shape,” he concluded.
The seller, a local property investor, was delighted with the outcome. “Having originally purchased the property for commercial use, Ben identified that the building would attract greater demand for residential conversion,” he said.
“I am pleased to have sold the former BT building to Mario Construction and look forward to seeing the building developed and brought back into use, providing much-needed affordable homes in Kidderminster.”
The property, sold on an asking price of £385,000, is a detached three-storey property that has undergone some recent refurbishment and provides up to 6,616 sq ft of space.
The current layout provides two storey offices over workshop and storage facilities, fronting on to Mill Street. The basement provides 1,350 sq ft, the ground floor 2,629 sq ft and the first floor 2,635 sq ft, whilst it also benefits from tarmac-surfaced car parking at the front.
Lastly, we head to the heart of Surrey, where Magna Carta Park - from residential developer Royalton Residences - is now opening the doors of its new show home for potential buyers and investors.
Set on an exclusive private estate, Magna Carta Park is a collection of ‘57 beautifully-designed homes within 57 acres of ancient woodland and landscaped gardens – close to the site of the eponymous King John treaty’.
Made up of 23 houses, 10 townhouses and 24 apartments across three mansion blocks, the properties range from one-bedroom apartments of 1,141 sq ft to five bedrooms homes of 4,495 sq ft.
The luxury development has been achieved thanks to a partnership between celebrated architect Julian Bicknell & Associates and respected interior designer Louise Bradley. The development has an estimated GDV of £130 million, with property prices ranging from £1 million to £4.5 million.
From an architectural point of view, the development embraces a contemporary take on classically elegant architecture from the 17th century through to the present day. This ranges from the classic brick and timber treatment of the Queen Anne period, through to the clean, stuccoed fashion of the Regency, to the combined brick-and-stucco of mid-Victorian architecture.
The residences borrow some of the most recognisable and celebrated British architectural styles, with the layouts also arranged to provide each household with beautiful views over the estate, as well as access to large areas of garden or private terraces.
Each apartment includes underground parking whilst, externally, road parking areas and formal open spaces are kept to a minimum to enable residents to fully enjoy the expansive countryside that surrounds the development.
Once moved in, residents will have access to extensive amenities including a tennis club, bespoke concierge and 24-hour security, as well as complimentary access to the spa, restaurant and indoor swimming pool of neighbouring Audley Coopers Hill.
With 57 acres of private land to explore, the estate also includes a tennis club with two LTA standard courts, golf practice area, walled garden and bluebell plantation, while a completely unique package for Magna Carta Park residents includes access to Audley Care, which allows residents to access care on a pay as you go basis.
The Magna Carta Park estate, which sits at 50 metres above sea-level, enjoys sweeping views over Windsor as a result of its elevated position, with a picture-perfect view of Windsor Castle and the Long Walk from the Great Lawn at the centre of the development, The developer has worked extensively with The Woodland Trust and English Heritage to protect this iconic setting.
Magna Carta Park is also home to ancient woodland - for example, an ancient knuckled oak tree stands at the fork in the driveway between small enclaves of detached houses, which is said to have been the ‘marker point’ used by Henry VIII when riding-out for a morning’s exercise of his horses.
Alex Herman, sales and marketing director at Royalton, commented, “With the opening of the show house this month, we are pleased to reveal new details of what it will be like for our residents, who will live in an environment of matchless luxury. Interested buyers now have the chance to experience the full Magna Carta Park offering – from the exceptional views and extensive grounds to the sumptuous finish of each property and unrivalled services.”
Louise Bradley added: "Magna Carta Park has been an extra special project for me, especially after 15 years of working with the Royalton Group. As befits an exceptional development such as this, our interiors reflect our signature classic contemporary style, yet are also elevated with rich textures; fine oak, marble and granite materials with a timeless colour palette of neutral creams, browns and bronzes. The interior design concept captures a new type of luxury for discerning buyers - that of comfort, functionality and attention to detail.”
Magna Carta Park is located a short distance from ‘quintessential’ English market towns and villages such as Ascot, Sunningdale and Virginia Water, while other local attractions include Ascot Racecourse and Wentworth Golf Club.
Transport links are strong, with trains from Egham reaching Waterloo in 41 minutes and Heathrow Terminal 5 only 12 minutes’ drive away.