Below is a small selection of the more notable recent and legacy transactions undertaken by our Real Estate and Construction team.
Acquisition of a major listed building for hotel conversion
Acting for a Middle Eastern investor in the acquisition of a major Grade II Listed Building for circa £12m. The client is about to obtain planning consent for the conversion of the property and its use as a 5* hotel. Kingsley Napley's Construction team have been appointed by the client to deal with all construction issues in relation to the proposed development.
Acquisition by investor client of part built office building in the city
Acting for a long standing investor client with a large portfolio of high value properties in the City and West End of London in purchasing a freehold building partially constructed. The Kingsley Napley team worked on this complex project that involved rights to light and construction issues with the transaction exchanging within the agreed tight timescale.
Large mixed use development project
Acting for a client in connection with the development of a 625 acre mixed use (primarily residential) site in Northamptonshire which has outline planning consent for 3,000 homes with extensive community facilities and commercial space. The team acted on the original acquisition which included securing option agreements and are currently acting on the acquisition of further parts of the consented site required to complete Phase 1. Large proportions of the site were subject to a Farm Business Tenancy and Kingsley Napley advised on complex documentation to ensure vacant possession of the various phases of the site could be secured as and when necessary. On-going current work involves land parcel sales to various national house-builders. These agreements are complex, involving overage payments.
Pre-lets and a forward sale
Acting for an entrepreneurial client specialising in carrying out infrastructure works on sites in readiness for occupiers who carry out their own construction. This matter related to an important development of restaurants in Northamptonshire. We agreed pre-let documents (agreement for lease, lease and licence to alter) to tenants including McDonalds, Costa, and Dominos. Lettings to high profile tenants such as these are always tricky as they have their own standard form documents but from a developer's perspective it is important to ensure consistency in the agreements and leases across the site. The McDonald's agreement was particularly complicated a sit involved contributions against various phases of tenant works. Kingsley Napley has now been instructed on a forward sale of the entire site at a value of £3.6 million.
Investor client acting as funder
Acting for a property investment and development company in relation to providing short-term financing solutions for third parties within both the commercial and residential sector. Kingsley Napley recently acted on a £41 million financing deal for the acquisition of a large development site in Welwyn Garden City (WGC) from Tesco. Kingsley Napley Real Estate , in conjunction with the firm's banking team , reviewed the title and dealt with the security documents. Kingsley Napley has now been instructed on a second financing of the same property for £13 million to enable the borrower to fund an application for an enhanced planning permission for the site.
£40m office development project in SoHo
This involved the purchase of a long head leasehold interest in a five storey office building (with restaurant at ground floor and basement level) in the course of being constructed situated in London's Soho for circa £40 million. The sale contract included complex development obligations which included the removal of a floor slab and omission of works, as well as difficult rectification of defects and release of retention provisions. There were associated Rights to Light issues and complex gearing provisions in the headlease which required careful due diligence and advice to the client.
Re-financing of a science and technology campus in oxfordshire
Harwell is a large science and technology campus in Oxfordshire which hosts an array of over £1 billion of world leading research infrastructure. The 710 acre site boasts over 60 years of world changing innovation from the foundation of the Atomic Energy Research Establishment to the Diamond Sychroton. We assisted the client with the re-financing of a portion of the site. This included four major developments which were at a range of stages from pre-planning through to practical completion. The client had previously been dealing with the construction documents in-house and we have undertaken an updating exercise to get these into a form satisfactory for their Lender. As part of this, we also advised on the varying the building contract on one of the projects to assist with out client's cashflow. Input into the facility agreement and agreements for lease on the site were also provided, in conjunction with our property and real estate finance colleagues. We are currently reviewing with the client the suite of construction documents used across all of the client's projects.
Multiple purchases and funding
A client specialising in acquiring warehouse and light industrial premises instructed us to act on the purchase of three further sites at a total value of circa £7 million to add to its existing portfolio. It was a funding requirement that all three transactions completed at the same time. Reports on title together with Certificates of Title for the Lender, were prepared and there were a significant number of largely 'funder generated' issues to content with. There were a number of complications with the properties including a lease back to one of the Sellers.
Major re-financing deal in excess of £70 million
Working in conjunction with our banking team, we recently acted for a client on the refinance of two property portfolios. The first was an extensive residential portfolio in Kent. The second portfolio comprised a building in Manchester containing a ground floor commercial unit and more than 100 residential units above. We reported to the bank's solicitors on both properties and dealt with the property requirements. The banking team negotiated all the security documentation for the refinance and dealt with all of the Lender's requirements. We worked as a team and collaborated with the bank's solicitors to ensure all time scales were met.
Pre-let, investment sale and option to buy
Acting for a long established client on a pre-let to Boots UK Limited of a retail shop in the West End of London and the sale of the investment by way of long lease at a significant premium, subject to the lease to Boots, together with an option to buy the freehold once all of the new flats in the upper parts have been sold.
Major mixed use site in kettering
Acting for a developer client on a large scale new housing development in East Kettering which has the benefit of a consented planning scheme for 5,500 homes, 95,000 m2 of commercial, health and leisure space with considerable public amenity and community space including four primary schools, a secondary school, shops, community buildings, employment centres, leisure facilities and parks. Current transactions involve drafting a Promotion & Option Agreement and dealing with the first parcel sale to a housebuilder. We are also dealing with a refinance of the entire development site with the Homes & Communities Agency, which involves providing a report on the form of procurement, construction documentation and construction security available.
a complicated lease renewal
Acting for a set of Barrister's Chambers in the renewal of their lease which was protected by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. At the same time, the client was negotiating a sublease of part of the building to a firm of solicitors who occupy the adjacent premises. The solicitors wanted to have the option of acquiring the headlease if either the break option in the headlease was ever exercised by the client of if the client sought to assign the headlease. A form of pre-emption agreement was agreed between the client and the sub-tenant which forms part of the sublease. It was important to ensure that the drafting was done in such a way that the pre-emption procedure is dealt with without prejudicing the tenant client's ability to exercise the break clause in the headlease.
Tower block hotel / residential development
We are currently acting for a client in relation to the development of a 24-storey tower block at the Elephant and Castle which will comprise a 140 bedroom hotel (to be let to, ad operated by a leading hotelier), together with residential flats above the hotel for private sale as well as social/rented housing. We have also given various strategic advice to various other development matters affecting the site, including negotiations with Network Rail.
important lease negotiations
Acting for one of the UK's largest independent agent for ski and cruises holidays on a new lease of key operational office premises on the South Coast. The lease was completed in a short timescale, whilst at the same time ensuring continuity of occupation of their offices. The lease was heavily negotiated to bring the lease terms up to a modern standard, including fixed service charge caps and limited repairing obligations.
Partner and Head of Department