OakNorth partners with Cogress on £16.5m property deal


Ben Barbanel

OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed a debt finance deal of £10m to URBANISTA, the property developers behind a number of residential projects across London, including Wheat Wharf in Shad Thames, The Jam Factory by Tower Bridge Road, and 11 Netherhall Gardens in Hampstead. Cogress, the exit-oriented property investment company that OakNorth has partnered with on a number of deals in the past, has provided a further £3m of equity.

The finance will be used to purchase a vacant office block at 4-14 Spurstowe Terrace and in its place, develop a five-storey building with 24 apartments, including four affordable homes, and office space. The total GDV of the property will be £16.5m. The property is located less than a minute’s walk from both Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations – providing a direct service to Liverpool St in eight minutes – and is less than a mile from the bustling streets of Dalston. In the last five years, Hackney has continuously ranked as one of London’s most desirable boroughs, with house prices rising by over 70 per cent since 2012 to £520k.

URBANISTA was established in 2011 and is run by its three partners – Steve Bowring, Michael Masaya Nagata, and Charlie Priester. The group has worked on a number of projects across London with a combined GDV of over £230m.

Commenting on the deal, Michael Nagata, Partner and Director at URBANISTA, said:

“We are delighted to have the support of both OakNorth and Cogress on this transaction – Hackney has become an increasingly popular area in recent years and is in desperate need of new housing. As a developer focused on unlocking a property’s unique potential, we are excited to be working on this mixed-use development and look forward to its completion.”

Tal Orly, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cogress Ltd. continued:

“As Hackney has recently become one of the most desirable postcodes in London, we are really excited to be adding this investment opportunity to our growing and diverse UK portfolio. With more than 40 projects in the UK, with a GDV of over £800m and more than £130m of equity raised, Cogress has built a strong reputation for matching carefully vetted opportunities with qualified investors. We are delighted to be working with the ambitious and experienced URBANISTA Group and partnering once again with OakNorth to bring this attractive new investment opportunity to our network of more than 4,500 qualified investors.”

Ben Barbanel, pictured, Head of Debt Finance, and Damien Hughes, Property Finance Director at OakNorth Bank, commented:

“The first half of this year has been phenomenal for OakNorth – we’ve closed over 30 property deals with several more being credit-approved and transacted. URBANISTA has a proven track record and a strong model that has enabled them to build an impressive portfolio in a very short space of time.”