Allianz Real Estate and Brookfield have refinanced Blackstone’s St Katharine Docks, London, in a deal coordinated by HFF Real Estate Limited. Allianz as senior lender arranged the senior facility on behalf of a number of Allianz Group insurers. Brookfield - through the Brookfield Real Estate Finance Fund V - provided mezzanine financing. The five-year, floating-rate deal represents the first time Blackstone has borrowed from both Allianz and Brookfield in Europe. Additionally, this marks the first transaction globally in which Allianz Real Estate and Brookfield have partnered together on a financing.
St. Katharine Docks, a 23-acre estate built in 1827 and central London’s only marina, has evolved into an iconic destination within London with more than 500,000ft² of commercial space, featuring 80 companies, 24 bars and restaurants, 200 berths and 6,500 employees. In 2014, Blackstone strategically purchased the asset via the acquisition of Max Property Group and has since enhanced the asset via significant capital improvements that have attracted top-tier tenants such as WeWork, Clarkson Plc, QA Limited and Six Degrees.
The debt provided by Allianz is split into a senior term loan and a capex line to redevelop Devon House, a 90,000ft² building on the estate. It is Allianz’ second UK transaction in 2018 – in April, Allianz lent €55.7m (£50m) as part of the €111.4m (£100m) development financing for 80 Fenchurch Street, a prime office property in the City of London. Both deals are part of Allianz’s European value-add growth strategy.
“This is a landmark opportunity to refinance one of London’s unique estates. St Katharine Docks is a prime development that correlates with our focus on very high-quality, long-term assets owned by exceptional managers such as Blackstone,” said Roland Fuchs, Head of European Debt at Allianz Real Estate. “This deal, our second value-add transaction in the UK this year, also illustrates our increasing focus on London, which we believe will continue to be one of the world’s most influential and dynamic cities offering a compelling selection of prime assets for investors.”
The HFF debt placement team working on behalf of Blackstone included Director Brad Greenway and Managing Director Edward Daubeney.
“To be able to bring together three world-class real estate platforms for an inaugural, iconic transaction shows the strength of the London market and Blackstone’s ability to impressively execute on the identified repositioning,” Greenway said.
“Blackstone has breathed life into St. Katharine Docks while continuing to execute its successful business plan. It has been a real pleasure working with all the parties involved on an important mandate for the HFF London team,” Daubeney added.