Essential Living buys Archway tower for resi conversion

By Paul Norman - Friday, June 28, 2013 12:15

Essential Living has bought the 16-storey Archway Tower in north London and is planning to convert the brutalist offices to a £30m, 100 flat residential for rent scheme.

Essential Living has acquired the leasehold in the block for £6m from Valad Property Group.

Archway is Essential Living’s fourth acquisition following recent deals in Swiss Cottage and Bethnal Green, east London. The company now has a pipeline of around 1,000 homes.

The brutalist 80,000 sq ft Archway Tower office block was completed in 1963 above Archway Tube station.

It was used by the Department for Social Security during the 1980s, but fell vacant in 2012 after the Office of the Public Guardian was relocated to Birmingham.

Backed by $200m of equity from M3 Capital Partners, Essential Living plans to design, build and manage 5,000 rented homes across London and the South East.

It aims to replicate the successful multi family lettings sector in the US. through buying up land to develop rental homes. These will then be directly managed over the long term.

GVA acted for Essential Living.

Transport for London is the freehold owner.

Scott Hammond, executive director at Essential Living, said: “With ownership properties out of reach for most Londoners, there’s a huge need for professionally managed rented homes perfectly positioned above key transport links. We are looking to draw on the experiences and successes gained from the American rental model which designs homes specifically for rent and is far more workable than buying up existing homes that developers haven’t been able to sell.

“We are determined to offer renters the quality and service currently missing from the fragmented private rented sector which are largely owned by individual landlords.

“Archway deserves regeneration and we believe our investment will be the catalyst to further gentrification in this important North London community."

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