Addleshaw Goddard have advised Aviva Investors on the purchase of the first phase of Abstract Securities’ redevelopment of Bristol Business Park for £30.6 million via the Lime Property Fund, Aviva's open ended Property Unit Trust that invests in property in the UK.
The office development, which stands at around 86,000 square feet, has been pre-let to an engineering support services company, Babock International, who have already signed an agreement for lease for a 15-year lease subject to satisfactory development being completed.
The development is scheduled to compete in May 2019 and will follow the BREEAM 'Excellent' specification.
The AG team was led by real estate partner Peter Hardy, with support from managing associate Kathryn Green, together with tax partner Justine Delroy and Construction, Engineering and Environment partner Andy McVeigh.
Peter Hardy, said: "It was agreed and completed in a record time of only one month from our being instructed to signature of the forward funding agreement. This is extraordinarily quick for a forward funding and is evidence of all parties' commitment to getting the deal over the line.
The location in Bristol Business Park is a great one given the proximity of the MOD for a business such as Babcock and being very near major motorways. It was attractive to the Lime Fund given both these fundamentals of location but also the quality of the developer and the tenant."
Leona Ahmed, head of AG's Real Estate sector, said: "This deal shows a continued trend that we are seeing in the Office sector which is of development funding coming from institutional forward funding rather than just traditional bank debt finance. Despite challenging conditions, investment in the Office sector across the UK remains positive with many investors looking outside London for attractive returns."
AG's Office sector team has a proven track record of advising investors, developers, occupiers and funders in this space. In May 2017 it advised developer HB Reavis on its landmark acquisition of Elizabeth House, Waterloo - a prime location adjacent to the UK's busiest station where it is developing a new 945,000 sq ft mixed use scheme. The team has also a good understanding of the developments affecting this sector, advising WeWork on several high profile deals in 2017 - including a lease at Two Southbank Place, from British property developer, Almacanter and the letting and refurbishment of 140,000 square feet at 125 Shaftsbury Avenue.