The Verve building in Covent Garden in London.
Jane Imrie

Covent Garden building set to complete refurbishment with £18.75m funding boost

An office building in the centre of London is set to be transformed with new multi-million pound funding.

Real estate lender Fortwell Capital has completed a new £18.75m value-add loan to international investment management firm InfraRed Capital Partners Limited for the refinancing and refurbishment of the Verve building in Covent Garden in London.

The loan will be used to refinance the 19,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme, which was acquired by InfraRed in April 2017 and underwent a full Category A refurbishment before being rebranded as Verve in December 2019.

Once the refinance is complete, the borrower will undertake a £1.1mn capex refurbishment to bring the remaining vacant space to Category A+ specification and be ready for occupation in August 2021.

Dan Smith, chief executive officer at Fortwell Capital, commented: “We recognise that, in the current market, there are significant opportunities to provide debt outside of development finance, and Fortwell is looking to increase lending in the value-add sector given its strong investor appetite and stable risk-adjusted returns.

“In today’s market, tenants are looking for quality, longer term space which is fit for purpose and resilient to further restrictions.

“Infrared’s business plan to refurbish the Verve building was an incredibly attractive proposition in that sense, aligning with our ambition to fund high quality schemes in prime locations across the UK and backed by best in class sponsors.”

Alex Ray, investment director at InfraRed, added: “The new funding secured from Fortwell will enable us to complete the refurbishment programme at Verve and create high quality space, fit for today’s occupier market.

“The Fortwell team have provided a very professional, commercial and seamless process Fortwell were able to complete the loan process from start to finish in less than a month.”

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