CRITERION CAPITAL CONTINUES TO TARGET PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR

Prominent London investor, Criterion Capital, is deploying further resources in a bid to deliver new private rented sector (PRS) schemes in the wake of recent Government commitments to address the housing shortage in England.

Criterion Capital has just purchased the 370,000 sq ft Delta Point building in Croydon for build to rent. The former BT office building, latterly more famous for its starring role in the Batman Dark Knight Rises blockbuster, has been acquired with a view towards converting into around 350 new homes.

This is the fourth such purchase by Criterion Capital in the past six month, following its recent acquisitions of Astral House in Norbury and Eagle House in Wimbledon, since the Government revealed plans to relax the office-to-residential conversion process. In the past 12 months alone, Criterion Capital has delivered 347 new PRS units in locations including Deptford, Slough and Piccadilly.

Asif Aziz, CEO of Criterion Capital, said: “As long-term and committed investors in London, we are all too aware of the acute housing shortages in and around the Capital. The relaxation of the planning process through permitted development rights is one of the more logical Government interventions. It has created a golden opportunity for developers to deliver much-needed housing stock quickly and cost-effectively. This presents a strong business opportunity and is why we are deploying resources to the build-to-rent space.”

Lloyd Davies, partner at Gerald Eve, advisor to Criterion Capital, added: “Office-to-residential conversions make most sense in locations such as Croydon where there is a surfeit of office space, but demand for residential property is outstripping supply. Criterion Capital has both the expertise and the resources to capitalise on the Government’s plans to relax the conversion process.”

Criterion Capital is actively targeting office-to-residential opportunities, focused on vacant office buildings over 35,000 sq ft within the M25 and with good transport links. It is currently in discussions on a number of such opportunities.