Puma Property Finance provides a £33m development finance facility to transform an iconic Basingstoke building into a green workspace.
The development will see the transformation of a remarkable Grade II listed building into a sustainable and cutting-edge workspace with a wellness offering and extensive amenities. The project is being led by highly experienced counterparties in Longstock Capital and Mactaggart Family & Partners, with works having commenced earlier this month.
The six-story development was originally occupied by the paper manufacturers, Wiggins Teape, and comprises 150,000 sq. ft. including several unique features, most notably a series of cascading roof terraces designed by the renowned horticulturalist and landscape gardener, James Russell. Crucially, the new development will have a high focus on sustainability, designed to achieve an EPC ‘A’ rating, BREEAM Outstanding, WELL Platinum and Wired Score Platinum certifications. The property is set to be rebranded under the name of ‘Plant’ in tribute to the garden terraces and wider sustainability features.
The development supports suburban regeneration and economic growth in the Basingstoke area, and represents Puma’s second substantial loan into sustainable, high-quality office space in the last quarter, following the financing of a £52m office scheme in Parsons Green, West London.
Rahul Malde, Senior Manager at Puma Property Finance, comments:
“We are delighted to support this commercial office development with a strong focus on sustainability, and to be working alongside experienced counterparties in Longstock Capital and Mactaggart Family & Partners to bring this truly exciting project to life. Our appetite for the office sector remains predicated on delivering best-in-class ESG workspaces into local markets with robust occupier dynamics. We’re continuing to see a real flight to quality in the office market and we’re only going to see more demand for developments that can deliver high sustainability credentials, particularly considering new legislation set to require all commercial buildings to have a minimum EPC rating of ‘B’ by 2030.”
Hugo Denee, Partner of Longstock Capital said:
“We are pleased to have achieved these milestones in our business plan and look forward to delivering the refurbishment of this iconic building together with William Laxton and the team at Mactaggart Family & Partners. Agreeing a virtual freehold with Basingstoke Council and signing the debt facility with Puma paves the way for construction to start. While completion is earmarked for Q1 2024, the combination of the strong environmental credentials with best-in-class design has already sparked robust interest from significant occupiers ahead of the launch of formal marketing this autumn.”
Councillor John Izett, Deputy Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, added:
“It is fantastic news that one of Basingstoke’s most recognisable buildings is to be reborn. The deal agreed with the new owners means substantial new investment into creating 21st Century offices that will be just what today’s businesses are looking for. In time it will also bring jobs and business rates for the council to direct towards services for our residents. I wish Longstock Capital every success in transforming the building and securing new business occupiers.”
As part of this project, Addleshaw Goddard acted for the borrower, Fieldfisher acted for the lender and CMS acted for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Savills and Hollis Hockley have been appointed as joint-leasing agents.
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