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Specialist bank closes its largest deal since launch

Martin Greenland | 07:30 Wednesday 2nd August 2017

OakNorth has lent £22m to Netherhall Gardens Ltd — a joint venture between Cogress and Godfrey London – to restore Otto Schiff House in Hampstead.

The £22m loan is the largest deal the specialist bank has closed since its launch in September 2015.

OakNorth funded the restoration at 14 Netherhall Gardens, which has five two-bedroom, six three-bedroom, two four-bedroom and one five-bedroom apartments and comprises almost 30,000 sq ft.

Cogress provided a further £3.4m of equity towards the project.

The £22m loan from OakNorth included a marketing facility which will provide the borrower with a more sustainable period of sell down.

[caption id="attachment_1769" align="alignnone" width="500"]Otto Schiff House OakNorth Otto Schiff House[/caption]

The 14 apartments are shared across two distinctive buildings: Otto Schiff House, a grand Victorian mansion designed by Richard Norman Shaw, and Otto Schiff Mansions, a new pavilion building conceived by award-winning architects Squire & Partners.

The property has a historic background.

In the 1920s, the house was acquired by British banker and philanthropist Otto Schiff, who established the Jewish Refugees Committee (JRC) when the Nazis came to power in 1933.

Some 12,000 German and Austrian Jews were rescued and sheltered by the JRC.

Following Schiff's death in 1952, the property became a trust and care home for victims of the Nazi persecution.

Godfrey London has been restoring the historic building to its residential state for the past two years.

Paul Godfrey, founder and director of Godfrey London, said: “Otto Schiff House is a historically significant building and it has been a privilege for us to restore and return the property to its residential origins.

“Yet again, OakNorth went above and beyond the call of duty, taking the time to develop a flexible and innovative funding structure.”

Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance, and Damien Hughes, property finance director, both at OakNorth, added: “It's great to once again be working with both Godfrey London and Cogress — especially on a building with such historic significance.

“Both businesses and their management teams are extremely entrepreneurial and ambitious, making them a perfect fit for OakNorth.”

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