21 Nov 2019

Octopus Real Estate provides £21 million loan to transform site of former Shredded Wheat factory

Octopus Real Estate, part of Octopus Group and a leading UK specialist real estate investor, has agreed to provide a £21.2 million loan to Wheat Quarter Ltd to transform a brownfield site in Welwyn Garden City.

The Wheat Quarter site, the former home of a Shredded Wheat factory, has detailed planning consent which will see it transformed into a residential-led development which will include 697 residential units, 114 retirement units and 130,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Welwyn Garden City is the ideal location for a large-scale residential development given its proximity to amenities in the surrounding area, including St Albans just eight miles away and Luton Airport only 13 miles away.

The development will appeal to those looking for good commuter links to London and Cambridge - the fastest growing urban economy in the UK and the new home of Apple, Google and Microsoft1, as well as those looking to downsize in retirement, while keeping connections to the city. The resulting development will provide a lively neighbourhood for residents, with its own restaurants, bars and entertainment facilities.

Wheat Quarter Ltd was advised by specialist real estate debt advisor BBS Capital.

The last 12 months has seen Octopus Real Estate fund several large consented sites totalling £58m across the country, including in Luton, Harlow, Derby, Watford, Manchester and Limehouse.

Ludo Mackenzie, Head of Commercial Property at Octopus Real Estate, said:

“This is another significant development site for us in the UK. The Wheat Quarter development is an exciting project that will deliver over 1,300 homes. Less than half an hour train ride from London, alongside the proximity to historic market towns and an airport, gives the development mass appeal.”

John West, Wheat Quarter Ltd, commented:

“We are delighted to have concluded the refinance on the Wheat Quarter Project and to establish a new relationship with both Octopus Real Estate and BBS Capital, both of whom provide full understanding and commitment to provide an exemplar service on finance and development”.

Adam Buchler, BBS Capital, said:

“We are delighted to have enabled our client secure the funding required to move this project forward on this iconic site in Welwyn Garden City”.