Topland Group led by Sol Zakay completed a quartet of bridging loan lending deals in December with a draw down of in excess of £50m.
The bridging loans were for an average loan period of nine months and had an average loan-to-value of 65%. Three of the funding deals entailed planning risk. The total GDV for the four lending deals is in excess of £250m.
One of the financings was for the former police station in Chelsea off Sloane Avenue, which the borrower is seeking consent to redevelop to luxury residential.
The 23,153 sq ft building sits on a 0.195 acre site at the southern end of Lucan Place, SW3.
It is understood the private client of Topland paid in excess of £45m and is working up plans for a residential scheme which local agents have estimated could have a gross development value in excess of £150m.
Topland renowned for its ability to respond quickly to the market was able to provide the loan of £22.5m in less than two weeks from the first approach from the borrower, at a market leading rate of 5.5% per annum.
Another was for the former Westminster fire station, which the borrower also hopes to convert to prime residential.
A further two bridging loans for £20m were completed within a week to one of the UK’s leading high end residential developers who Topland has lent to recently.
Topland structured finance manager, Edward Matthews, said: “We are seeing an increasing number of clients coming to us with deals which have a focus on public sector buildings.
Given the cost cutting agenda being pushed from national and local Government this is only likely to continue. We are well positioned to capitalise this trend as these transactions often have a strong element of planning risk. This is something most other lenders are uncomfortable with. Often when these assets come to market quick decisions are needed and few lenders will move as quickly as Topland.”
Topland Group itself has also acquired two UK police authority sites in 2015 through joint ventures with leading residential developers last year.