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Commercial to resi – from West Sussex to Surrey

In part three of our series on the booming commercial to residential sector, we look at some of the recent schemes backing up this growing trend.

Investec loans Galliard Homes £18 million for East Grinstead office-to-resi conversion

Investec recently announced that it has provided Galliard Homes, one of the leading South East-focused residential property developers, with an £18 million senior facility to fund the development of a 109-unit residential scheme at Newacre House, in East Grinstead, West Sussex.


The 27-month loan will allow Galliard to convert two of the five interconnecting, multi-storey office blocks that make up Newacre House, and which were originally constructed in the mid-1970s, into residential units.

It will also enable the developer to refinance existing debt on the site and help generate income on the remaining three office blocks.

Set to complete from July 2022 onwards, the scheme will feature a mixture of fully-furnished one bedroom and studio apartments for sale, available through Help to Buy.

A portion of the homes will include an additional study room, enabling residents to utilise the space as a ‘work from home’ area, a dining room, games room or family snug. Meanwhile, the remaining three office blocks provide approximately 65,000 sq ft of space and are currently occupied by a mix of tenants.

Newacre House sits in the heart of East Grinstead, a bustling medieval market town at the centre of the High Weald area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is designated with National and International protection to preserve its wildlife.

The town benefits from ‘excellent transport connectivity’, with trains to London Victoria taking less than one hour and the M25 and Gatwick Airport both accessible in around 20 minutes by car.

“Given the UK’s chronic housing shortage and the Covid-19 pandemic acting as a catalyst for a more flexible way of working, we can expect to see more projects like this that take older office buildings and transform them into high-quality, contemporary homes,” Ian Burdett from Investec said.

“We have worked with Galliard on multiple transactions over the years and are pleased to support them on this latest venture. Once completed, Newacre House will be perfectly suited to first-time buyers or buy-to-let landlords looking for a comfortable and functional property that is well-located with easy access to London and surrounding countryside.”

Jonathan Morgan, director of investment & developments at Galliard, added: “We are pleased to be continuing our long-standing relationship with Investec, the longevity of which is testament to the team’s ability to work quickly and flexibly to meet our financing requirements on a range of different projects. This latest loan will enable us to transform Newacre House into much needed high- quality housing.”

This now represents Investec’s twelfth deal with Galliard, having previously provided finance for projects including The Stage, a £750 million mixed-use scheme in Shoreditch.

Galliard said the homes at the new £23.5 million development are ideal for first-time buyers and investor alike.

Designed for life post-Covid, there are a selection of homes with separate studies available which are said to be ‘perfect for flexible working’.

Every home is available fully furnished with New Concept Furnishings, a comprehensive package including beds and sofas, soft furnishings including rugs and made-to-measure blinds, a wide range of accessories ranging from lamps and mirrors, to kitchen utensils and cleaning products. 

Galliard has also said it will pay a one-year service charge contribution for buyers.

Newacre House is located on Wood Street, on the edge of the town centre and less than a five-minute walk from the train station, giving buyers and investors easy access to all amenities.

Reaching five storeys high, the stylish red brick façade is punctuated by an array of glazing ‘to provide the interiors with an abundance of natural illumination’.

David Galman, sales director at Galliard Homes, added of the scheme: “Newacre House is an opportunity not to be missed. Nestled in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, while benefitting from the vast array of local amenities and superb travel connections in historic East Grinstead, residents really will be able to have it all.”

He added: “The apartments are finished to a superbly high standard and provide a fantastic chance for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder while living in a leafy location not too far from London. We have found the pandemic has shifted buyer priorities and for many a home with a separate study is ideal allowing them flexible space to work from home where needed, as our office culture shifts. We are proud to be bringing high-quality homes, of a central London standard, to interested buyers in East Grinstead at affordable prices.”

Homes at Newacre House are currently available from £175,000 for a studio suite, and from £220,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Interior design studio co-founder sells historic Surrey hotel

Richard Angel, co-founder of interior design studio Angel O’Donnell, recently completed the sale of an historic Surrey hotel and development site, and has lined up Coppa Club as the new operator.

Angel, co-creator of one of London’s fastest-growing interior design houses, sold the hotel and residential development site in Haslemere, Surrey, with planning consent in place for 18 new homes and a full refurbishment of a historic listed building into a boutique hotel and restaurant.

All-day dining and hotel group, Coppa Club, has been secured as the operator and will be opening its ninth bar and restaurant at the Haslemere site, subject to granting of planning permission and listed building consent for Coppa’s proposals.

The development site, which was sold for in excess of £4.6 million following competing bids, was purchased by Jaspar Group, a boutique residential developer, with a 48-hour exchange and completion only one week later, with Allsop advising on the sale.

The site includes the historic Georgian Hotel, a listed building in the centre of Haslemere spanning nearly 14,000 sq ft and accommodating 13 bedrooms, where Coppa Club says it will aim to provide its laid back, design-led spaces for guests to eat, drink and stay.

Angel, who co-owned the site alongside private investors, successfully achieved planning consent ahead of the sale to include a full refurbishment of the historic Grade II-listed hotel, together with the development of a further 16 apartments and two detached cottages to the rear.

He was also instrumental in securing the partnership with Coppa Club, which currently has eight venues in London and the South East, as the operator for the new site.

“Having seen this project through from the initial acquisition to successfully achieving planning for a large and complex residential-led project with many challenges posed, I am delighted to have sold to Jaspar and secured Coppa Club as the operator for the restaurant and hotel,” Angel said.

“I am confident they will both create a truly one-of-a-kind establishment for locals, visitors and residents to enjoy.”

“This site has so much to offer and its transformation has been a long time coming. I have no doubt that under the new ownership and with the planning consent we have achieved, it will revitalise this part of Haslemere, bringing jobs, vibrancy and much-needed new homes to the area.”

Raj Pankhania, chairman of Jaspar Group, added: “We are looking forward to transforming this exciting hotel and residential development site. The proposals developed and secured by Richard and the team will give this historic site a new lease of life and the Coppa Club will be a fantastic new addition to the area.”

Yishay Malkov, chief executive officer of Various Eateries plc, commented: “We can’t wait to bring the Coppa Club brand to Haslemere with a venue which offers something for everyone, a local hang-out and a community space. For years, only members’ clubs have offered space for guests to stay all day and transition from work to play, but we are changing that.”

“Coppa Club Haslemere will be relaxed, welcoming and informal, serving great wines, cocktails and food, with comfy lounge areas with sofas to relax, work and socialise.”


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