Octopus Real Estate has provided a £9m loan on the redevelopment of a Grade II Listed building in Northampton town centre. The development loan – which has a 24-month term – will finance the creation of 89 new homes; 17 studio apartments, 60 one bedroom flats, and 12 two bedroom flats, all of which will be designed as New York loft-style apartments. The developer is Hawkins Development Projects Ltd., a local joint venture between Ermir Sefolli, owner of S & R Northants Ltd and Director of property developer OEH Group, and brothers Lakhvendar and Jeetendar Sohal, owners of Acca Group. The deal completed within just 10 weeks, and development on the site is already underway. The show flat is expected to be ready as early as August 2022.
The development loan – which has a 24-month term – will finance the creation of 89 new homes; 17 studio apartments, 60 one bedroom flats, and 12 two bedroom flats, all of which will be designed as New York loft-style apartments. The developer is a local joint venture between property developers OEH Group and Acca Group. The deal completed within just 10 weeks, and development on the site is already underway. The show flat is expected to be ready as early as August 2022.
The Grade II Listed G.T. Hawkins factory was built in the late 1800s as a leatherworks, and was once one of the UK’s major suppliers of climbing and military boots. It received Royal Warrant in 1885, producing boots for Queen Victoria. The warrant is still proudly displayed above the entrance today, and will remain in the prominent location after the regeneration has been completed. The factory produced aviation boots and supported British war efforts during the First World War and into the Second World War, and in 1953 provided footwear to the first team to successfully ascend Mount Everest. The Hawkins factory closed in 1995 after 120 years of trading.
Andy Scott, Head of Residential Development, Octopus Real Estate, commented:
“This deal is well aligned with Octopus’s vision of bringing high quality accommodation to the UK while retrofitting existing buildings, which is, of course, an environmentally friendly way to bring new properties to the market. We’re delighted to be supporting a local developer whose vision is to regenerate this iconic factory into 89 new homes and allow the Hawkins factory to remain an important part of the Northamptonshire area. We were able to build a strong partnership with the borrower, by delivering exceptionally fast service and going out of our way to structure the development finance around their needs and timelines. It’s a great example of our commitment to delivering personalised development finance solutions to our clients.”
Matthew Dailly, Managing Director of Tiger Financial, who handled the deal, added:
“With a tight timescale to complete the loan, and with a large redbrick conversion of an industrial building being outside the appetite of many lenders, we carefully selected Octopus as our lender of choice. We were impressed that Octopus immediately saw the developer’s vision and what they were trying to achieve, and how they acted as a sympathetic and flexible partner as the deal progressed. With their empowered underwriters, efficient decision making process and skilled credit committee, we were able to complete in time, thereby providing the developer the financial means to deliver the conversion of this iconic building.”
Ermir Sefolli, Director of OEH Group, concluded:
“We are extremely proud of the history of the factory and will endeavour to sympathetically restore the building and retain and refurbish as many historical elements as possible. I’m thrilled that Octopus has funding that enables us to finance developments like these. Our city has a rich history, and it is a great privilege to be able to restore this local landmark whilst bringing much-needed new homes to the area.”