Birchgrove expands into North London with £36m Mill Hill development


Ayrton House 1 birchgrove

Birchgrove, the UK’s leading provider of rented retirement homes, has further strengthened its London footprint with the acquisition of its ninth development – a 60 apartment community in Mill Hill, North London built on the site of a historic former medical research institute.

Ayrton House will offer 60 purpose built, self-contained, one, two and three-bed apartments – many with sweeping views over Totteridge Common – exclusively to independently minded people in later life, with communal features including a restaurant, club room, licensed bar and wellness suite, as well as landscaped gardens.

The building is the centrepiece of “Ridgeway Views” residential scheme, a 47 acre, 528 home project in Mill Hill’s conservation area.

For over 80 years the historic art deco National Institute for Medical Research, designed by the original Wembley Stadium architect Max Ayrton, was located on the site; the new development pays testament to Ayrton’s original design both in name and by reproducing the original building’s iconic green copper roof.

The 60 units will be delivered in turnkey condition in 2024 and have been funded by £10.2m of equity funding from Bridges Fund Management and a development facility from Octopus Real Estate.

The £36m acquisition of Ayrton House is Birchgrove’s third development in the capital and comes just weeks after the completion on a 78 apartment development in Hampton Court, with a 50 apartment site in Chiswick having been acquired in 2022.

The acquisition also comes as two of Birchgrove’s communities reached full occupancy this month, with Birchgrove’s Queensgate Apartments in Sidcup now at over 98% occupancy and the Birchgrove’s Woodbank Apartments in Woking at over 96% occupancy.

The full occupancy of the two sites is testament to the surging demand for retiree rental homes; according to the English Housing Survey, the number of pensioners in rented accommodation is set to double to over 1m in the next decade.

Birchgrove currently operates three retirement communities across the South-East, with three further communities under construction and now available for rental off-plan, and three further London sites acquired (Chiswick, Hampton Court and Mill Hill).

Honor Barratt, Chief Executive, Birchgrove said:

“Ever since Birchgrove’s mid-market rental concept was launched in 2017 the model has gone from strength to strength, enabling over 65s to live flexibly without the burden of home ownership.

The acquisition of our ninth site in just six years, including three major developments across London, is testament to how transformative our model has been to later living; now, we look forward to extending our portfolio even further across London, the Home Counties and beyond.”

Jack Copley, Partner in the Seniors Housing team at Knight Frank said:

“This unique scheme presented a great opportunity for both parties.

This forward funding deal ensures our client can expedite the final phase of their residential masterplan, while Birchgrove has added another impressive site to its expanding Grade A portfolio.

Birchgrove are at the forefront of the UK’s senior’s rental market. Following this landmark transaction, we expect to see a number of further seniors housing forward fund deals and partnerships come forward based on current market requirements.”