OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has lent £14.4 million to Frogmore, the UK-focused, integrated real-estate investment manager which has invested and sold over £6 billion of real estate since its founding in 1995.
The capital has been used to acquire a cleared site on Ufford Street, adjacent to the LeSoCo College, and submit planning permission to develop a hotel. The site is less than a 10 minute walk from both Waterloo and Southwark stations and is in close proximity to other popular attractions, including: The Young Vic, The Old Vic, The London Eye, The London Dungeon, Sea Life, Southbank Centre and the Royal Festival Hall, making it an ideal spot for tourists. In addition to this, there are a number of Michelin star restaurants such as Gordon Ramsey’s Union Street and Mark Hix’s Hixter located nearby. While there are a number of hotel projects and schemes currently under construction in Southwark – Hilton’s Hampton, Marriott’s Autograph, and Park Plaza’s Art’otel – the area still has one of the lowest levels of hotel bedroom supply amongst key Central London boroughs. This is especially noticeable when compared to neighbouring Waterloo where a number of established hotel brands – Novotel, Ibis, Hilton, Holiday Inn Express, Park Plaza, Premier Inn and Travelodge – all have a presence.
Established in 1961, Frogmore has transacted over £6b of projects since 1995. Currently it owns assets such as: The Notting Hill Gate Estate, Stratford Shopping Centre, and Weston House in Holborn. Previously, Frogmore developed the South Place Hotel, an 80 bedroom boutique hotel with restaurant, brasserie and private dining facilities. The hotel is let to D&D Restaurants and was completed in 2012. Earlier this year, South Place Hotel was sold to Chinese Investors.
Commenting on the deal, Jo Allen, chief executive of Frogmore, said: “Southwark has been experiencing a shortage in hotel room supply for several years. In Kensington and Chelsea, there are three times as many hotel rooms. In Westminster, there are more than seven times. Our hope is that we can secure planning permission to build a hotel here and help fill this gap with a new 275 bedroom hotel on the site.
“It was a pleasure working with OakNorth on this deal – we’re no strangers to securing debt finance for large-scale projects, but this experience was one of the simplest and most stress-free transactions we’ve concluded.”