AXA IM - Real Assets has entered the UK private rented residential market with the acquisition, on behalf of clients, of the iconic Dolphin Square in Pimlico, Central London, from Westbrook Partners. The neo-Georgian designed freehold asset is the largest single private residential complex in the UK, comprising 1,233 units on a 7.5-acre site.
Dolphin Square is a London landmark with a rich history dating back to 1937, including having been the headquarters of General De Gaulle's Free French during World War II. The estate provides 795,990ft² of residential accommodation, commercial and amenity space spread across 13 individual houses centred around a 3.5 acre landscaped garden square. Of the 1,233 residential units, there are 165 serviced apartments, 80 corporate housing units and 186 affordable units, with a broad variety of apartment sizes on offer ranging from studio to five-bed.
The riverside estate comprises extensive retail and leisure facilities including a fitness club, swimming pool, spa, squash and tennis courts, and a convenience retail arcade. The entire complex is managed by an onsite management company, acquired as part of the transaction. The scheme stands in good condition but presents an opportunity for a wholesale refurbishment over the long-term to enhance its sustainability credentials and provide a modern environment for tenants to live and enjoy.
John O’Driscoll, European Head of Transactions at AXA IM - Real Assets, commented: “Through this transaction, we have secured a rare opportunity to acquire a first-class, large scale and iconic residential asset in one of London’s most sought after areas as a long term investment on behalf of clients. We are excited to be acquiring this asset and the potential that can be unlocked over the long term; London’s private rented market remains significantly undersupplied and, with over €20bn invested into the sector globally, residential assets classes which are supported by structural demographical drivers remain one of our high conviction calls.”