Silbury Finance, the development lender backed by Oaktree Capital Management, has provided the UK Retirement Living Fund, which is managed by Schroders Capital and advised by Octopus Real Estate, with a €46.8m (£39.3m) senior loan to fund the development of a retirement village in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Comprising 89 high-quality for-sale homes, the scheme is the second project to be developed by the joint venture (JV) between ReLF and Elysian Residences, the UK luxury retirement living specialists. In line with Silbury’s commitment to funding new developments that meet the highest environmental standards, the JV will benefit from a discount on the facility’s exit fee if it achieves a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating.
The scheme occupies a prominent location in the centre of the former spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, a short walk from the train station and 30 miles south-east of Central London. Developed and operated by Elysian Residences, the retirement village will include 89 apartments, a mix of one, two and three-bed, and hotel-style facilities. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, library, gym, sauna, and treatment rooms with access to 24-hour care if required.
The JV was formed in February 2021, to bring forward market-leading retirement communities, providing age exclusive new homes for retirees. The Royal Tunbridge Wells development, which is due to open in 2024, represents the JV’s second scheme, as it targets a €238.4m (£200m) Gross Development Value portfolio. Silbury has also partnered with the JV on its first scheme in Berkhamsted which is due to open to residents in Q4 2023, providing a €65.5m (£55m) acquisition and development loan.
Domas Karsokas, Investment Director, Octopus Real Estate, commented: “We are pleased to be moving forward with the development of this market-leading retirement community alongside our joint venture partners and Silbury. Both businesses recognise the need for this kind of housing and share some of our core values. This is reflected in the commitment to developing high-quality projects whilst focusing on achieving high environmental standards.”
Gavin Eustace, Founding Partner of Silbury Finance, commented: “This transaction increases our exposure to both the high growth retirement living sector and a highly reputable sponsor, and keeps us firmly on track to meet our first-year lending target of €417m (£350m). At the same time and reflecting that the built environment needs to address carbon emissions at the design and construction stage, not just operationally, the innovatively structured facility offers an incentive to the borrower on exit if it meets certain criteria.”
Patrick Bone, Fund Manager at Schroder Real Estate Capital Partners, Schroders Capital, said: “We are pleased once again to be collaborating with Silbury, this time for the financing of the Royal Tunbridge Wells development. This deal forms part of a portfolio of six of the highest quality and geographically diverse retirement community programs across the UK. The need for specialist retirement housing to support the older population in the UK is becoming increasingly pressing and we remain committed to developing first-rate retirement communities with a focus on achieving the highest environmental standards.”
Gavin Stein, Chief Executive Officer, Elysian Residences, commented: “We are delighted to be progressing this site in Royal Tunbridge Wells with Silbury Finance and the UK Retirement Living Fund, bringing highest quality apartments to this key demographic. This is our ninth retirement village (at different stages of development) and Elysian Residences is actively looking for new sites and investment opportunities at all stages, as part of our vision to be the foremost provider of inspiring and elegant retirement communities in the UK.”