OakNorth completes £6m loan to Godfrey London for the developer’s first commercial project

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Ben Barbanel

OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed a debt finance deal of £6m to Godfrey London, the luxury property developer which primarily focuses on the creation of residential-led new build schemes in North West London.

The finance will be used to demolish a vacant building which was previously used as a Royal Mail sorting and delivery office and convert it into almost 14,000 sq.ft. of offices. The building is located on St George’s Road in Temple Fortune, where due to an increasing number of self-employed and professional micro business activities, there is growing demand for smaller and more flexible work space. It benefits from being located within proximity of bus stops on Finchley Road, as well as being just a 10-minute walk to Golders Green station.

Commenting on the deal, Paul Godfrey, founder of Godfrey London, said:

“There is currently an over-supply of old-fashioned, large-scale office space in North-West London, which is no longer suitable for contemporary office demand. Many developers wish to convert Temple Fortune’s old offices into luxury residential apartments, but we think the best opportunity lies in developing new commercial spaces that are more well-suited for today’s business owners and entrepreneurs.

“As ever, OakNorth completed the deal quickly and efficiently – they looked at my proven track-record as a developer, rather than focusing on the fact that we’ve not done commercial spaces before. This was very much appreciated and is yet another demonstration of OakNorth’s unique approach.”

In a joint statement, Ben Barbanel, pictured, Head of Debt Finance, and Damien Hughes, Property Finance Director at OakNorth, commented:

“This is our third loan to Godfrey London so while it is the first time they are venturing into commercial development, we have complete faith in the team’s ability to deliver on their plans. Paul has led the development of several high-profile projects in North London, including the sympathetic revival of the historic Otto Schiff House in Hampstead which helped with the Jewish refugee crisis in the 1930s. He and the team have decades of experience between them and a pragmatic and clear rationale for this project, which will finally bring some fit-for-purpose new offices to Temple Fortune.”