Criterion Capital launches maiden residential scheme



Criterion CapitalCriterion Capital has launched its maiden residential scheme at Surrey Quays as it completes the acquisition of its second project in Thurrock.

The owner of the iconic London Trocadero and The Burberry Building in Knightsbridge previously specialised in commercial property before branching out into residential build-to-let with its Trundleys Road acquisition.

Criterion acquired the stalled development at Trundleys Road, Surrey Quays in 2011; three years after its previous owners went into receivership – one of the many casualties of the Credit Crunch. The property investment and development specialist won planning consent to increase the number of homes before finishing its construction. The scheme, comprising 138 residential homes with a GDV of over GBP40m, was fully let on completion.

The launch of Trundleys Road comes at the same time that the company completed the acquisition of its second residential scheme in Thurrock, Essex – another development that stalled after its previous owners ran into financial difficulty.

The 2.64 acre site – with consent for 140 residential units including 62 units pre-sold to Family Mosaic – was acquired from administrators after its previous owner also went into receivership before completing construction.

Buy-to-let specialist The Acorn Group, which manages Criterion’s residential portfolio, has advised on the deal. The GBP15m scheme is in a prominent position on Howard Road and benefits from its close proximity to Lakeside Shopping Centre and excellent commuter links to London. It is also one of the last undeveloped parcels of land in Chafford Hundred.

Asif Aziz, chief executive at Criterion Capital, said:

“We are delighted that Trundleys Road is now completed and fully let. The speed and price per square foot at which the scheme was let demonstrates the opportunity that exists in build-to-let.

“We have substantial funds available to invest and the acquisition of the Howard Road site in Thurrock is one of many opportunities that we are looking at.

“We are specifically targeting sites within London and the South East that can provide a minimum of 50 residential units for let to the private rented sector.”

Paul Deveney, director at buy-to-let specialists The Acorn Group, said:

“There is exceptional demand for high-spec rental properties in Surrey Quays from young professionals working in The City and Canary Wharf. All of the apartments were let prior to completion for the asking price or above.”