BLME to fund Newcastle office-to-apartment project
Beech Holdings has secured a £20m development facility from Bank of London and The Middle East to convert an office building into apartments.
The scheme will include 241 residential units under Beech’s City Co-Living brand. There will be a mix of studio and one-bed apartments along with communal spaces on the lower-ground floors.
Amenities will include a “commercial-sized” gym; private residents’ coffee lounge; yoga and spin studios; a community event space; co-working area; bookable private dining rooms and kitchen; and an AV/cinema lounge.
Graduates and young professionals will be targeted to occupy the redevelopment of Cale Cross House, one of the city’s tallest buildings at 18 storeys.
The deal marks BLME’s fourth transaction with Beech, following the successful completion of three projects in Manchester.
Stephen Beech, chief executive of Beech Holdings, said: “As a developer committed to ‘levelling up’ the regions, especially those across the North, we are incredibly excited to be realising the potential of the former Cale Cross House building, and injecting some much-needed, high-quality properties into Newcastle’s market.
“Already a landmark in the vibrant Quayside neighbourhood, our aim is to transform it into a modern icon at the heart of a city benefiting from significant investment – and we welcome the opportunity to work with BLME, a bank which clearly recognises the huge potential in the UK’s regional property market.”
Beech is well versed in office-to-resi schemes, with its portfolio including another co-living scheme at the 100,000 sq ft Westpoint in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester.
Anna Barratt, director of real estate finance at BLME, said of the Newcastle project: “The conversion of office blocks into residential accommodation is something we expect to see more of, as changes to working habits prompt organisations to re-evaluate their office requirement. It’s great to see so many of these previously redundant buildings being repurposed.
“We also anticipate growing interest in regional assets in 2023, and this development is a perfect example of the types of opportunities available to investors willing to look beyond London.”
City-Co Living Newcastle expects to welcome residents from September 2023.