Topland announces joint venture with English Rose Estates

Jan 2014

Topland, headed by Sol Zakay, has announced it has entered an equity joint venture with English Rose Estates on an office to resi scheme on the Strand, WC2.

In Topland’s fifth residential equity joint venture this year, it has acquired the long leasehold interest in the upper parts of 406-408 Strand with English Rose Estates for £11.625m from Legal & General Property (LGP).

Topland has also recently increased its direct exposure to the residential market with the acquisition of a block of 24 flats in Putney, SW15 and has also boosted its exposure to the hotel sector by the £85m acquisition of the Menzies hotel group.

The Strand scheme has planning consent to convert the upper sections of the building from offices into luxury residential apartments which Topland expects will have a gross development value (GDV) in excess of £25m. The accommodation will range from one-bedroom to three-bedroom flats and includes an exclusive penthouse suite.

Topland manager Edward Matthews said: “Joint Venture equity partnerships are an established core business line for Topland. This is our fifth residential joint venture this year and we have a strong pipeline of future equity deals, with the best in class UK developers, which we look forward to announcing shortly.”

In April, in an equity joint venture with Urban Exposure, Topland acquired the prime 3.4 acre site Dawn Hill on the Wentworth Estate in Surrey, by the famous golf course. There are plans to build a 25,000 sq ft mansion, with a GDV in excess of £30m. Not only has work now started but Topland also secured an increase in the planning permission to 28,000 sq ft.

To date Topland has deployed £300m by means of a wide variety of funding structures including joint ventures, bridging loans, senior development loans and mezzanine finance with a focus on prime residential development. This is the third funding deal that Topland has completed with English Rose Estates. Previously, it provided an acquisition and development loan to convert a former Coventry hotel to student housing, and has also provided a £10m acquisition and development financing to English Rose Estates on another office to residential scheme in Marylebone.

English Rose Estates director Ockert van den Berg said: “We have developed a particularly close relationship with Topland and we look forward to working with them on future transactions. We are always looking for new opportunities with or without planning consent. And will reciprocate by making quick decisions, which is facilitated by relationships with partners like Topland.”