Bridges Property Alternatives Fund III
Date of Initial Investment
Challenge: Across the UK, 22% of all commercial building stock pre-dates 1960, and a further 53% was built between 1960-1999. Apart from being more environmentally-unfriendly, older office buildings tend to be left vacant for longer periods of time, having a negative effect on local economies. But these challenges – underutilised property and underutilised local talent – present opportunities for growth
Investable solution: Bridges has acquired the freehold interest in Lawrence House in Norwich – a 42,000 sq. ft. office building with 29 car parking space. At the time of investment, Lawrence House was 41% vacant, with 33% of the accommodation in an unlettable shell condition. The property was bought with 17,000 sq. ft. of vacant space available for refurbishment and re-letting. Various environmental improvements will be incorporated within the refurbishment specification, to enhance the energy performance of the building. This will include the installation of the most efficient air conditioning units and LED lighting to the shell accommodation.
Outcomes: Norwich District Authority is located in the top 21% most deprived areas of the country, according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation; this development will provide employment and quality office stock in a needed market. The redevelopment will also fit out the office building to a Grade A specification and will target new lettings to SME tenants.
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