Joint venture announces development plans for former Middlesex Hospital site (UK)

Kaupthing Bank, Aviva Investors and Exemplar Properties have entered into a development agreement to develop the former Middlesex Hospital site on Mortimer Street in Fitzrovia, London. The 3-acre site will be transformed into an integrated sustainable mixed-use community, centered on a new landscaped public realm that embraces the listed hospital chapel. The high-quality scheme is expected to be complete by late 2014.

Middlesex Hospital site aerial

An aerial view of the site.

To be designed by leading architectural practice Sheppard Robson, the site's new master plan will include a mix of open market residential apartments, affordable homes, retail, Grade A commercial space, and amenity for local occupiers including a health center and an education facility. Kaupthing, Aviva Investors and Exemplar Properties intend to submit a new planning application to Westminster City Council in mid-2011. Following the grant of planning permission, work will commence on site immediately.

The development will deliver high quality residential accommodation in to a prime location with excellent local amenities. The constriction of supply and increase in buyer demand means there is excellent capital growth potential with little competition from other residential developments. The project will also be timed to perfectly capture the benefit of strong anticipated office rental growth as the West End performs strongly during the economic recovery. It will offer new space of a quality and scale rarely found in the central West End market and will undoubtedly generate strong occupier interest from an early stage.

Clive Bush, Co-Founding Partner of Exemplar, said: "The former Middlesex Hospital site offers a rare and exciting opportunity to promote and define an important part of Central London. Fitzrovia is a thriving established and harmonious community with an interesting heritage and the new master plan will reflect this.

"We will be engaging with local stakeholders including the nearby school to ensure we deliver a high quality, sustainable scheme that enhances and adds value to this well connected and desirable part of London."

Steinar Thor Gudgeirsson, Chairman of Kaupthing's Bank Resolution Committee, commented: "We are confident that this partnership will bring the utmost value to the development of the Middlesex site and therefore to the Bank's creditors. Earlier this year, there were signs that the London real estate market was starting to recover so we initiated a sales process.

"The conclusion following a rigorous process was to partner up with Aviva investors and Exemplar and we look forward to continuing the development site for the benefit of our creditors as well as for the benefit of the Westminster community."

Joel Lindsey, Head of Aviva Life Funds, Aviva Investors, said: "We will be working with Kaupthing and Exemplar to deliver an exciting mixed-use scheme in the heart of Fitzrovia. We believe the Central London residential market has a compelling investment case and the offices will benefit from the anticipated strong West End rental growth."

CB Richard Ellis acted as advisors for Kaupthing Bank and Savills acted fo

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