Fortwell funds £50m in a week

Ryan Fowler

October 24, 2016

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Fortwell Capital has provided over £50m of funding in a single week, including £30m for a new development scheme in the London Borough of Hackney.

Comprising five separate transactions spanning the residential and commercial sectors, the Knightsbridge-based lender said the figure represents one of the best aggregate lending weeks in its history.

Three of the transactions – for £5.6m, £4.4m and £4.2m respectively – were for specialist commercial development projects outside the M25 perimeter.

December more important than in previous years

A fourth – for a gross value of £7m – was a refinance bridge provided against a high-end residential development in Battersea, London S.W.11. at a loan to value of 75%.

But the lender said its biggest-value transaction – and its largest so far this year – was for a mixed-use residential and commercial scheme in London’s fashionable Hackney district.

Introduced to Fortwell Capital by property finance advisors Brotherton Real Estate, the development is located in London Fields E.8. and includes permission for 42 upscale residential units utilising 32,540 sq ft together with 21,969 sq ft of commercial-use space.

To be developed by Gold Section Developments, the residential element will boast upon completion 12 one-bed, 16 two-bed and 14 three-bed high-specification apartments complemented by 20 commercial studios.

Planning consent has been obtained for the demolition of the existing vacant warehouse and construction of two 4/5 storey buildings with lower ground and basement levels and a 3-storey mews block and a single-storey commercial block.

Fortwell Capital has provided Gold Section with a gross advance of £29.5m over a period of 24 months on a loan-to-costs basis of 81%. The loan-to-gross development value is not being revealed but Fortwell confirmed the figure is at the higher end of its lending parameters.

London Fields was first recorded as an area of public parkland in 1540 and is ideally situated for buyers seeking the dual attractions of living and working in the capital.

Estate agency Fyfe Mcdade, who acquired the off-market site on behalf of Gold Section, has been appointed as the sole selling agent for the apartments and studios. The development – completion of which is scheduled for February 2018 – will be marketed from the agency’s East London office in Shoreditch.

Colin Sanders, Fortwell Capital’s chief executive officer, said: “As might be expected in the current environment, this transaction was not without its difficulties. We stepped in at a time of pre- and post-referendum jitters amongst some funders, but we liked what we saw.

“Gold Section Developments have an impressive track record of success and possess an unrivalled local knowledge of the areas in which they develop. Together with the signature expertise provided by Brotherton, we had little difficulty getting comfortable with the structure of the deal.”

Richard Fine, principal at Brotherton Real Estate, added: “This is a really exciting development in an ever improving fringe location by a seasoned developer. Nonetheless, Brexit did have an impact and while some lenders in the market were pulling back, the team at Fortwell gave Gold Section and Brotherton all the confidence we needed that they would deliver on time. It was a pleasure working with all parties involved and we look forward to what will be a landmark development in London Fields.”

Sanders concluded: “Many lenders continue to say the right thing during these uncertain times, but it’s action – not words – that matter. With permanent capital in the market, a sharpened appetite to lend, and an expanding team of best-in-class experts at our disposal, Fortwell Capital will continue to support property professionals in London, throughout the South East and in select areas of high demand.”

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