OakNorth Bank completes £6.5m property investment and partial CBILS loan for newly fitted-out office building in Soho

OakNorth Bank has completed a £6.5m loan (£5m CBILS and £1.5m non-CBILS) to a successful property group with over 40 years’ of real estate investment experience, to refinance a commercial property in Soho.

According to CoStar, leasing demand for office space in Soho remained steady in the months prior to the coronavirus outbreak. Soho was also the location of one of London’s largest deals of the lockdown period in May 2020, when foreign exchange firm Argentex took 11,000 sq.ft. at 19-25 Argyll Street on a 10-year lease. Demand has been supported by infrastructure improvements and more upmarket retail and leisure options, particularly along the eastern end of Oxford Street where Crossrail will arrive in 2021.

Marc Champ, Managing Director of Wharf Financial Services, commented on the transaction: “Considering this transaction was introduced during the height of lockdown, it is a credit to OakNorth Bank to have worked with such consistency and pragmatism. This was a complex transaction which needed all sides pulling together. The teams at OakNorth and Wharf have gone above and beyond to deliver a first class result for the customer and exceed their expectations.”

Max Saidman, Debt Finance Associate Director at OakNorth Bank, continued: “Whilst the office market continues to face uncertainty due to the pandemic, there remains demand for chic and newly refurbished office space in Central London especially in the West End. The size, specs and location of this property make it attractive to both start-ups and established businesses, so we were delighted to get the introduction from Marc. The borrower group has over 40 years’ of property investment experience, so we hope to complete additional transactions with them in the not too distant future.”