Topland funds hotel acquisition for student and retail transformation

Jan 2014

Topland has provided senior debt finance to English Rose Estates to help acquire a former Travelodge hotel in Coventry, which previously graced the rich and famous. English Rose Estates has begun work to transfor the building into a £6.5m student housing and retail scheme.

The city centre hotel with 120 ensuite bedrooms and training centre and two conference rooms will be converted to stylish student accommodation of 125 bedrooms with shared amenity space including a cinema room and gym. The ground floor will provide 100,000 sq ft of available leisure and retail space.

The purchase price was not disclosed but Christie & Co were marketing the long leasehold of the hotel for £1.65m. Topland has provided £3m of acquisition and development finance.

The prominent eight-story brick building once graced the rich and famous when it traded as the Hotel Leofric. For over half a century, it was the place to stay for celebrities performing in the city, including Morecombe and Wise and Bill Haley. Sid Vicious famously smashed up his room after a gig at Mr George’s, in the Lower Precinct, in 1977.

The Leofric, once a proud symbol of post-war recovery, closed in 2008, and was bought a year later by Travelodge, who spent £4m removing its lavish conference and banqueting facilities and adding 26 rooms.

English Rose Estates director Scott Levy said: “The accommodation element of the scheme should be ready for students by Christmas and we are in negotiations with health and fitness operators, restaurateurs and pub operators who are attracted to the great core location.”

Levy added: “This acquisition is one of a number of deals we will complete over the next few months. But we are always looking for new opportunities and will reciprocate by making quick decisions.”