Acquisition of Notting Hill Gate Estate – better than Julia Roberts!

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to act jointly with Everton Philips in the purchase for Frogmore of this exceptional Estate in West London for £215m.

Situated on 3.11 acres in Notting Hill, this Freehold Estate comprises 36 shops and restaurants, 53,500sqft multi-let offices, 145 flats and 91 parking spaces. Having won the competitive bidding process in mid-April, the transaction, which involved the purchase of a complex JPUT vehicle, ran relatively smoothly, with exchange and completion on 23rd June.

There is no escaping that an Estate of this size requires a great deal of due diligence at all levels. Thankfully this was made easier given that we had acquired the Estate for the vendor in 2010 and our leasing team, headed by David Sanderson, had been letting it for the last 8 years which meant that we had a good deal of background knowledge and could work up a robust asset management plan. Our client, Frogmore, are seasoned developer-investors who understood the nature of the asset and it’s potential. While the previous owner had experienced good rental growth and yield shift, there remains a great deal more performance to come through the redevelopment of the asset. In transforming the look and feel of the Estate (which is currently fairly drab Post War architecture) through redevelopment and refurbishment there is huge potential for rental growth, tenant mix upgrade and yield shift. There is also considerable scope to add more space to the asset, being currently low level development.

The asset breaks neatly into four blocks, allowing our clients a good deal of flexibility both in terms of redevelopment options (potentially allowing use swaps (residential and offices) between blocks) and a flexible exit strategy. The planning side was helpfully couched in the Council’s Supplementary Planning Document which identified what uses would be favoured and the scale of future potential development.

It was marvellous to buy this asset in 2010. To buy it a second time was extremely fortunate. We look forward to working with Frogmore on this exciting next phase and our continued involvement in its success and transformation of what is a Prime Central London Estate. I’m off to buy the t-shirt.