OakNorth Bank completes £34.3m loan to restore London’s historic 15 Old Bailey

  • The loan is to a joint venture formed by entrepreneur Alex Shamash and Boscalt Hospitality (a member of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity partnerships);
  • The finance will support the conversion of 15 Old Bailey from an office building into a new luxury hotel, along with two restaurants and a bar;
  • The Victorian property was built as a hotel in 1874 and was the first in London to have electric lighting throughout;
  • Due to OakNorth’s experience across both property development and hotel trading deals, it was able to tailor a facility enabling the borrower to convert the site into a hotel.

OakNorth Bank – the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has provided a £34.3m loan to a property business founded by entrepreneur, Alex Shamash, and joint venture partner Boscalt Hospitality, a fund that is a member of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity partnerships.

The capital will be used to convert the 15 Old Bailey property from office space into a new luxury hotel, restoring it to its former use whilst preserving its unique history. Following contemporary ESG standards, the property will become the highlight in this already recognized area of London.

The Victorian property was originally built as the Holborn Viaduct Hotel in 1874 by famed architect, Evans Cronk. It was built for Spiers & Pond, the world’s first large-scale catering business which was responsible for the first cricket test match between England and Australia. The hotel was the first in London to have electric lighting but in the 1900’s, was converted to office space which it has remained as ever since. The new hotel will have around 110 bedrooms, a speakeasy restaurant and bar, along with full-service restaurant, and a gym.

Alex Shamash mentioned: “Having secured planning permission, we have searched for the right funding partners for this project and we are pleased to have selected OakNorth. The fact that OakNorth Bank was able to structure a facility to enable us to refinance and develop the hotel, meant we could also focus on securing the right operator”.

Liza Masías from Boscalt Hospitality also said: “We’re excited to bring this new hotel concept to market whilst preserving the building’s unique legacy and its 19th Century features.  The hotel integrates the best market standards of sustainably and will feature a speakeasy bar and Levantine open kitchen restaurant concept”.

Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, commented: “Alex Shamash and The Boscalt team have the proven track record and impressive experience in successfully completing large-scale property projects. With hospitality and occupancy levels anticipated to return to pre-pandemic figures over the next 12 months or so, we expect this hotel to be a welcome and successful addition to central London’s tourism scene. Given the historic significance of the building and the fact that it’s attracted a well-established brand as an operator, we wanted to design a facility that would enable Boscalt and Alex to move quickly and avoid the opportunity cost of having to secure financing for each stage of the project”.



Notes to editors

About OakNorth Bank plc

Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible, and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle.

Since its launch, the bank has:

  • Lent over £6.5B, directly helping with the creation of 20,300 new homes and 23,700 new jobs across the UK.
  • Raised deposits from c.160,000 savers.
  • Supported several hundred businesses across the UK with the debt finance to pursue their growth ambitions.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 


Valentina Kristensen, Director – Growth & Communications: valentina.kristensen@oaknorth.co.uk / press@oaknorth.co.uk / 0757 234 9009


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