Octopus Property provides £10 million acquisition loan for retail-to-residential scheme in Harlow, Essex

Specialist property lender Octopus Property has agreed to provide international property group Strawberry Star with a £10 million, 12 month loan, to support the acquisition of 110,000 sq ft of retail space in Harlow, Essex.


The borrower has secured planning consent to demolish the property and build 447 residential units, a mixture of for sale and Private Rented Sector.

Part of the Harvey Shopping Centre, Harlow’s premier retail destination, the property is currently let to 39 tenants, with the majority let on short leases. Alongside the residential units, the scheme will deliver 43,200 sq ft of ground floor retail, across four separate blocks.

Harlow is located 26 miles north east of London; the scheme is a 15-minute walk from the railway station, which provides a direct service to London Liverpool Street in 30 minutes. The development’s appeal is enhanced by both a shortage of new build units in the town centre and house price growth in Harlow during the past 12 months of 1.9%.

This will be the eighth time that Octopus Property has funded Strawberry Star.

Ludo Mackenzie, Head of Commercial Property at Octopus Property, commented:

“It is a pleasure to work with repeat borrowers. We are seeing an increasing number of opportunities to finance schemes where borrowers have recognised the potential to extract value from change of use, whilst at the same time playing a key role in the placemaking process that is under way in many urban centres across the UK.”

Santhosh Gowda, Chairman, Strawberry Star Group, added:

“We are securing opportunities for our volume housing vision aimed at offering London lifestyle homes in the commuter belt towns. Harlow, as one of the leading regional housing markets, is an important addition to our development pipeline. Our mixed-use development Lu2on in Luton just won the prestigious First Time Buyer Award 2019. We plan to create many such outstanding developments with the support of organisations like Octopus Property, who are aligned with our volume housing vision.”

Find out more about Octopus Property here

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