Octopus Real Estate funds acquisition of House of Fraser building in Exeter

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House of Fraser building in Exeter

Octopus Real Estate, part of the Octopus Group and a leading UK specialist real estate lender and investor, has provided an £8 million loan to Prydis, in support of their acquisition of the former House of Fraser store on Exeter High Street.

Having secured exclusivity for the acquisition from DTZ IM, the Prydis team have been granted planning consent to comprehensively refurbish and extend the vacant 65,000 sq ft department store. Prydis intend to deliver a mixed-use scheme with retail units at ground floor, and a luxury hotel and restaurant above.

The building’s extension will also provide a premier rooftop bar and terrace, overlooking Exeter Cathedral and the city skyline. In partnership with design construction consultancy Expedite, Prydis hope to begin development in the summer of 2020.

Following the loss of The Royal Clarence Hotel to a fire in 2016, Exeter has lacked a luxury city centre hotel, so the consented scheme is well placed to fill the gap in the market. It will also help invigorate the city’s High Street with the provision of several well sized retail units in its prime location.

The loan takes Octopus Real Estate’s recent lending on hotel-consented assets to over £200 million and also highlights Octopus Real Estate’s appetite to support investors acquiring well located retail units with active asset management potential.

Dominic Gibson, Investment Director, Octopus Real Estate, commented:

“This is an extremely well-located asset in the heart of an important regional city. Prydis is a capable borrower with experience in wealth management and a strong track record of delivering successful investments and developments. We are well known supporters of regional real estate investment and have a strong appetite to fund capable borrowers investing in assets of this nature.”

Nick Cross, Director, Prydis, said:

“This is an important asset in the heart of Exeter city centre. We have put together a sympathetic and relevant redevelopment of the property which will make the most of all this historic city has to offer. Octopus Real Estate was swift to understand exactly what we were seeking to deliver and structured a flexible and competitive loan facility that will enable us to maximise the potential of this investment.”