The finance will be used to fund the acquisition of a mixed-use property at 68‐86 Clapham Road in Oval, and in its place, develop an aparthotel with between 120-175 units, subject to receiving planning permission. The site is located within walking distance of several Zone 1 underground stations – Oval, Stockwell and Vauxhall – as well as the South Western railway line, providing services to Clapham, Waterloo, Guildford, etc.
Formed in 2002, MELT Homes is a property development and investment group which over the last 17 years, has built over 100 properties in London Gloucestershire and Kent and accumulated a portfolio of over 50 residential and commercial properties. Its current projects are valued at more than £60m and include a 19-unit residential development in Gloucester, as well as a scheme of luxury flats in Hythe, Kent. Espalier Ventures is a private family investment office with a growing portfolio of businesses and investments in international higher education, property, social impact and leisure.
Commenting on the transaction, Evan Maindonald, Director at MELT Homes, said: “We are very excited about this project – the site is an excellent location and has so much potential, especially given how popular the area is with tourists and cricket fans! Whenever there is a need to submit planning permission, speed is of the essence, which is why we felt OakNorth Bank would be the right partner for this transaction. Hemesh and the team have a thorough understanding of the market, as well as a wealth of experience working with joint venture structures, so were able to design a facility that met our needs in the timeframe we needed it.”
Rick Gibbs of Espalier Ventures, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this deal with MELT and OakNorth. It is our fifth deal in the last 6 months and is a good fit for us, given that we are looking to increase our exposure to Real Estate investment with a particular focus on Aparthotel, Co-Living and selected areas of Prime Central London.”
Hemesh Patel, Property Finance Director at OakNorth Bank, commented: “Given the importance of tourism to London’s economy, the city needs to ensure that it is able to meet the demands of tourists wanting to visit the Capital. The most important aspect of this is providing suitable accommodation, but unfortunately the supply of serviced rooms and aparthotels is tight, and the cost of accommodation is expensive. With England winning the Cricket World Cup earlier this year, both Lord’s and the Kia Oval expect to see a boom in tourism, and as such an increased need for accommodation. The team have a wealth of experience and in combining resources, will be able to bring some much needed new rooms to the Oval area.”