Groveworld acquires a major mixed-use development site in King’s Cross supported with over £50m financing from OakNorth Bank and ASK Partners
13-12-2018
  • OakNorth and ASK Partners have provided a combined facility of over £50m. OakNorth’s contribution makes it the lender’s largest transaction since it launched in 2015;
  • Groveworld, the experienced developer and planning specialist, will seek to obtain planning permission for a major mixed-use scheme which is likely to deliver a significant amount of new homes, including affordable housing, for the London Borough of Camden;
  • Over the last 10 years, King’s Cross has experienced substantial investment and now houses the UK headquarters of major global companies such as Google, YouTube and Louis Vuitton.

OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – and ASK Partners, the real estate finance specialist, have partnered with Groveworld, the established property developer which specialises in converting derelict and under-utilised sites into high-quality mixed-use environments.

With the finance, Groveworld has purchased and will seek planning permission to develop a major mixed-use scheme at 330 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross. The buildings at the site have been in public use by the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital and its predecessors for over 140 years but have reached the end of their serviceable life for modern clinical use. The hospital is relocating to a new purpose-built site on Huntley Street next year and Groveworld intends to work closely with the London Borough of Camden and the GLA to deliver a prominent mixed-use scheme of over 300,000 sq. ft. The site benefits from excellent connectivity with local, national and international transport connections, with King’s Cross and St. Pancras International stations both a five-minute walk from the site.

Founded in 1990, Groveworld is an experienced developer with expertise in gaining planning permission, development management and construction. Over the last three decades, the business has completed several notable projects, including most recently: Canaletto – a 31-storey tower on City Road, a major residential-led project at Hackney Wick station abutting the Olympic Park, and a 118 unit residential scheme on Pentonville Road.

Daniel Austin, co-founder and CEO of ASK Partners, said: “We have completed several successful projects with OakNorth in the past, but this is the largest transaction we’ve worked on together, so we’re delighted to be supporting such an established and renowned developer. Groveworld has an extensive track record spanning almost 30 years and has been behind some of the most notable developments in London and the south east. This project will help continue establishing King’s Cross’ position as an epicentre for business, leisure and shopping in London, providing some much-needed affordable new homes and office space in the area.”

Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance Director at OakNorth, continued: “Since our launch in 2015, we have lent over £2.5bn to UK businesses and property developers, directly helping with the creation of 9,500 new homes and 11,000 new jobs. We’re excited to be rounding off the year not only with our largest transaction to date, but also with one of the most reputable developers in the UK. Having worked with ASK before, we know they share our desire for speed and efficiency in every transaction – aspects that were key for ensuring Groveworld could progress with this exciting project. We’re very much looking forward to working with Groveworld to deliver a high-quality mixed-use scheme that will benefit businesses and residents in the community.”

Ross Jacobson, Senior Development Manager at Groveworld, said: “This opportunistic acquisition is in line with our strategy of acquiring well-located Central London sites with major development potential. Our long-term ambition for the project is to deliver a high-quality mixed-use scheme, regenerating what will be a redundant site. Our 25 years of experience at Groveworld across planning, development and construction means we are ideally placed to deliver what we expect to be a landmark development for the area and we look forward to working with London Borough of Camden and the GLA to realise that vision.”