OakNorth partners with Cogress on £32m property deal

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OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed a debt finance deal worth 19m to Paul Godfrey, a property developer renowned for upholding exceptional standards of quality in his delivery of luxury residential schemes in North London. RS Property Finance has lent a further £6m of debt to help fund the development, whilst Cogress, the exit-oriented property investment company, has provided £7m of equity.

The finance will be used to acquire a 60,000 sq. ft. site at 254 Kilburn High Rd and develop a six-floor building in its place, with over 10,300 sq. ft. of commercial space on the ground floor, and 60 apartments spread over floors 1-5. The one, two and three-bedroom apartments should prove popular with buyers given the impressive park views the development will enjoy and its vibrant well connected location – Kilburn has excellent transport links with four train stations offering quick and direct access to central London. The development is located within 6 minutes of Kilburn’s Jubilee Line station and within 2 minutes of Brondesbury Overground station. This landmark project, with a GDV of £45m, will help to spearhead the ongoing regeneration of this important high street. As an area, Kilburn is popular amongst young professionals who are attracted by its vast selection of independent and branded retail outlets, pubs, wine bars, and restaurants. Average house prices now stand at £655k (source: Rightmove).

Paul’s career in the property sector began at Barratt Homes, Britain’s largest housebuilder, where he spent 3 and a half years as a Land Manager. During this period he purchased a number of high profile development sites in north London and gained the knowledge and experience to set up his own company in 2012. Since then, his portfolio has grown to almost £150m with past projects including: a modern redevelopment of 10 two and three-bedroom apartments in South Hampstead (Cleve Road), a new terrace of luxury four and five-bedroom houses in West Hampstead (Zen Villas), and an exquisite new development of four luxury houses in Radlett which include a cinema room, indoor swimming pool and a gym (Spencer Close). He is currently working on a number of prime developments in Hampstead, Belsize Park and Camden.

Commenting on the deal, Paul Godfrey, said:

“The major funding arrangement reflects the rapid growth and ongoing expansion of my property development company. I am delighted to have the support of such substantial financial firms. All three partners – OakNorth, Cogress and RS Property Finance – worked seamlessly together, ensuring the project progressed as planned.”

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

“Since its launch, Cogress has invested in more than 40 projects in the UK with a gross development value (GDV) of over £800m.  We are always on the hunt for exciting new investment opportunities for our 30,000 registered investors. This project ticked all the boxes for us and Paul’s experience and track record have proved to be very attractive amongst our investors.”

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

“It has been a great start to the year for OakNorth – we’ve closed 15 property deals with several more credit-approved and being transacted. We’re delighted to have worked with Paul, Cogress and RS Property Finance on this deal and look forward to additional collaborations in the future.”