Former South Plaza office block will provide 399 student bedrooms.

Melburg Capital has obtained full planning consent to convert a former office block in Bristol city centre into a £100m purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme.

The proposals, which were submitted in June last year, will transform the former South Plaza office building to provide 399 student bedrooms.

To be called 360 Bristol, the development will include a gym, café, leisure facilities, prayer rooms, a golf simulator and 370 bike spaces.

Melburg intends to complete the scheme by June 2026 in time for the September academic year intake.

Andrew Burns, head of asset and development management at Melburg, said: “In line with our environmental agenda, we decided to reimagine this former office facility instead of demolishing it and, in doing so, expect embodied carbon emissions to be notably lower than those associated with constructing a newultra-low energy steel-framed building. We look forward to welcoming students to this exemplary scheme for the 2026 academic year and thank Bristol City Council for its continued support.”

Melburg was advised by Savills.

View React News article here.

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View PBSA News article here.

View BE News article here.

View EGI article here.

Capital will be deployed across sectors where there are dislocation opportunities.

Melburg Capital, an investment and asset management business founded by a notoriously discreet senior executive, has raised £565m for its debut UK real estate fund, React News can reveal.

Melburg Real Estate Fund I (MREF I), which will invest both directly and in joint venture opportunities, has been backed by several of the investment manager’s existing institutional partners along with private family offices.

The firm’s website notes it has previously worked with Angelo Gordon, AEW, Revcap, Investec, Hines and Leumi, and has transacted £1bn of deals since it was set up nine years ago. However, it declined to comment on which investors had participated in the inaugural fund raise.

Although sector-agnostic, MREF I will have a particular focus on industrial, living, strategic land and operational real estate opportunities throughout the UK.

Our superior market connectivity coupled with a data-driven approach is enabling us to aggregate fundamentally mispriced assets across all sectors and regions

Melburg was founded in 2015 by Jack Burgess, a notoriously private Schroder alumni who has shunned the media spotlight and has yet to be interviewed.Although still in his thirties, several sources told React News Burgess had garnered a reputation for shrewd deal-making and discretion. As chief executive officer, he has overall responsibility for the group’s transactional activity and investment strategies.

Over the past three years Melburg has diversified its platform, securing several high-profile planning consents and acquisitions. Most recently these include a 400-bed student accommodation consent in Bristol city centre, along with the 850-bed mixed-use approval within its Redcatch Quarter, which forms the hub for the development of the former Broadwalk Shopping Centre in Knowle.

On the industrial side, Melburg has acquired in excess of 2m sq ft since its inception. Last summer, the manager prelet its entire Voltaic estate to XPO Logistics, in a move that marks the largest letting of the year in Yorkshire. Voltaic is a 210,000 sq ft logistics hub at the Wakefield 41 Industrial Estate,
West Yorkshire. XPO agreed to a 10-year lease term after Melburg repositioned the asset.

Helen Blair, Melburg’s chief financial officer, said: “The commitments are a reflection of the hard work and performance of the wider team. We intend on organically deploying our capital by utilising the extensive reach of both our direct property and venture capital arms.

“Although scale and consolidation remain a primary driver for most of the institutional market, our superior market connectivity coupled with a data-driven approach is enabling us to aggregate fundamentally mispriced assets across all sectors and regions.”

Successful raise
The success of Melburg Real Estate Fund I is impressive when benchmarked against a challenging backdrop for real estate fundraising. Only 59 private real estate funds closed in the first three months of 2024 – the lowest quarter on record, according to Preqin data analysed by React News. The total aggregate capital also remained low, at $28.6bn. 2023 was the toughest year in a decade for capital raising, with only $151.9bn of aggregate capital raised across 483 funds amid persistent macroeconomic headwinds.

View React News article here.

Planning permission has been granted for the demolition and redevelopment of the Broadwalk Shopping Centre in Knowle, Bristol.

The scheme, to be called Redcatch Quarter, was brought forward by a joint venture between BBS Capital, Melburg Capital and Galliard Homes. The joint venture, the Redcatch Development Partnership, plans to build 800 homes, 30 retail units and new public space.

Melburg acquired the site for £9.5m out of receivership in 2021. Broadwalk was part of a portfolio of three shopping centres Frogmore bought for £130m in 2006. The other assets were Belle Vale Shopping Centre in Liverpool and Port Arcades in Ellesmere Port.

The 5.3 acre site is home to the 50-year old Broadwalk Shopping Centre which spans 218,500 sq ft of retail space. The site benefits from outline planning permission granted in 2019 to demolish the multi-storey car park and part of the shopping centre to make way for 420 homes and 124,000 sq ft of commercial space.

New plans were then drawn up that would increase the number of homes from 420 to nearly 800, and the provision for 30 retail units. A community café, creche and new facilities for Knowle Library as well as 1,280 cycle spaces were also included in the plans.

The joint venture is now seeking grant funding to secure additional affordable housing for Redcatch Quarter. It has also announced plans to submit a detailed planning application for the overall scheme, and anticipate construction to take a minimum of three years.

View React News article here.

CoStar Group inc. announced the CoStar Awards Quarterly Deals winners for the second quarter of 2023 with Melburg’s XPO Logistics [XPO] lease at Voltaic coming top in the Top Industrial Leasing Deals for Yorkshire & Humberside. The CoStar Awards Quarterly Deals winners are determined by the top deals executed every quarter, based on price and square footage and Melburg secured the win for the pre-let of the entirety of Voltaic, Wakefield 41 to XPO.

XPO has committed to a 10-year lease term with a break in year five, as well as extensive tenant works above the agreed specification.

Melburg bought the property off- market in the first quarter of 2022 and has undertaken a wholesale repositioning of the facility, which is due to complete in August. XPO will use the facility to service its ongoing contracts with Saint-Gobain, which has a number of construction products brands, such as British Gypsum and Sani-Tech.

Melburg was represented by Dave Robinson (Cushman & Wakefield), Rob Oliver, Jake Pygall (Avison Young), Tom Cooley (Cushman & Wakefield).

For the original article, please click here.

For the award winners list, please click here.

For more information surrounding Voltaic, please click here.

Melburg Capital [Melburg] have pre-let the entirety of Voltaic, Wakefield 41, a 210,000 sq ft prime logistics facility in Yorkshire, to XPO Logistics, which marks the largest letting of the year within the region. XPO have committed to a 10 year lease term with a break in year 5, and have committed to extensive tenant works over and above the agreed specification.

Melburg acquired the property off-market in Q1 2022. Since securing the necessary planning consents Melburg have undertaken a wholesale repositioning of the facility, which is due to complete in August 2023.

XPO Logistics is a leader in providing transportation solutions. Headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, U.S, the company operates from in excess of 560 locations globally and benefits from annual revenues in excess of $7 Billion.

XPO Logistics will utilise the facility to service their ongoing contracts with Sain-Gobain, a world leader in light and sustainable construction. Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial market, generating 51.2 billion euros in turnover in 2022. The occupation of Voltaic follows a consolidation for the partnership, with the unit now a key operational logistics hub.

Jack Burgess Melburg’s Chief Executive Officer commented;

“It is a pleasure to welcome XPO Logistics, and their client Saint-Gobain as partners. The letting validates our data driven approach to investing, highlighting our ability to identify off-market opportunities within geographies and sectors with an acute supply demand imbalance, and execute quickly when capitalising on pricing dislocations”

Andrew Burns, Melburg’s Head of Asset and Development Management commented;

“We are pleased that the quality of refurbishment is reflected by the quality of occupier in XPO Logistics. The industrial sector is not immune to wider fiscal turbulence, it is therefore imperative to understand the operational and sustainability requirements of an increasingly discerning occupier base. This understanding has enabled us to deliver an optimal product at a competitive rental level. We are continuing to organically grow our logistics platform and will soon be making an announcement around a broadening of management services”

Dave Robinsons, Partner at Cushman & Wakefield commented.

“Melburg’s foresight to identify this off-market opportunity and implement a quality refurbishment of an existing unit on Wakefield 41 Industrial Estate, one of Yorkshire’s prime locations, was key in securing this deal.  Furthermore, the significant amount of parties and competitive process demonstrates the continued resilience of the occupier market particularly for key product in top tier locations”

Melburg was advised by Cushman & Wakefield, Avison Young and Burgess Okoh Saunders LLP. XPO were advised by Louch Shacklock and Partners.

View React News article here.

View Co Star article here.

View Place Yorkshire article here.

Melburg Capital [Melburg] have submitted plans to convert the former South Plaza office block, located in Bristol City Centre, into a 370-bed purpose built student accommodation development with associated facilities.

The submission follows on from Melburg’s proposed Redcatch Quarter development, within Knowle, Bristol, with a planned 850 residential beds as part of a significant investment into “Living” sectors to complement their expansive UK industrial portfolio which exceeds 2.5 million sq ft.

The £100 million student scheme will include a state-of-the-art gymnasium with changing facilities, full café and leisure facilities, a screening room, golf simulator and 370 secure bike storage spaces, one for each student as part of the proposed zero-student car strategy. 

As part of Melburg’s ongoing commitment to achieving operational carbon neutrality across their growing portfolio, repurposing the office block will save 4,215 tonnes of embodied CO2, when compared with a demolition and rebuild.

The embodied carbon will be 33% lower than a new ultra-low energy steel framed building, the equivalent of powering 1,504 houses a year, 593 petrol cars, 25 long haul flights or running 49 London buses for a whole year. The proposal will also save an additional 3,000 tonnes of CO2 by hooking up to Bristol’s District Heat Network.

The proposed ground-floor front extension will have a green roof, bring planting into the public realm and result in a biodiversity net gain of 2,000%.

Subject to the necessary approvals Melburg hopes the accommodation will be open by September 2025.

Jack Burgess, Melburg’s Chief Executive commented;

“This ambitious, highly sustainable proposal seeks to provide Bristol with much needed purpose built student accommodation, and in so doing alleviate pressure on the chronically constrained housing market. We will be exploring operational optionality through our advisors Savills, are considering acquiring existing platforms and intend on growing our student housing exposure extensively as part of our wider investment into the living space”.

 Melburg was advised by Savills and Burgess Okoh Saunders LLP.

View React News article here.

View Property Week article here.

View Co Star article here.

Melburg Capital [Melburg] announces the completion of a series of leasing deals at its recently acquired Sirdar Business Park, Wakefield.

The 350,000 sq ft asset was acquired off-market by the privately-owned investment manager in Q4 2021 and sits within a prominent 16.5 acre site off Junction 40 of the M1 motorway.

Melburg has since undertaken a tenant engagement and repositioning programme resulting in lease commitments from Dearnleys, one of the leading solar blind specialists in the UK, along with Ulster Yarns, part of the Ulster Group, a premium textiles manufacturer.

New lettings have also been secured with B&B Distribution and APH Automotive. Having acquired the asset with a rent passing of £2.45 per sq ft, all new lettings have been secured in excess of £5 per sq ft and account for over 60,000 sq ft of space.

Melburg has strategically amassed a logistics footprint throughout the UK which now exceeds 2 million sq ft, whilst also acquiring £1Bn of real estate over the past 24 months.

Andrew Burns, Head of Asset Management commented: “Sirdar Business Park is a great example of how our vertically integrated management platform is optimally designed to sustainably repurpose these complex assets effectively. We are continuing to grow the portfolio, acquiring assets which benefit from this close quarter management style.

“At Sirdar and in general we have prioritised our carbon footprint whilst providing an increasingly discerning occupier base with an excellent product. Although early in the asset repositioning, we intend to stage several further environmental interventions, targeting an EPC A rating whilst giving the occupational market something in short supply, a high-quality unit, benefitting from a collaborative management approach, at an affordable rent.”.

Melburg was advised by Cushman & Wakefield and Burgess Okoh Saunders LLP.

View Property Week article here.

View BE News article here.

View CoStar article here.

Melburg Capital Ltd [Melburg] – the privately owned real estate investment and development company announces the sale of Swan Lane Industrial Estate, Wigan to a private family office. 

Melburg acquired the 300,000 sq ft industrial estate off-market in 2020 as part of a sale and leaseback with the owners of domestic appliance producer G2S Limited for £8.75m.

Following their acquisition Melburg repositioned the estate within a 24-month window through tenant engineering and close-quarter asset management. In so doing their team of skilled management specialists leased 100% of the estate, increased the passing rents by 55% and moved the WAULT from 3.00 to 6.23 years.

The sale follows a period of significant activity for the expanding investment specialist, having acquired in excess of 2 million sq ft of industrial assets, released plans for one of Bristol largest regeneration sites, with 880 new homes set to replace the Broadwalk Shopping Centre, and discreetly divested from £150m of assets including Warehouse K, London, Maxmor House, Dartford and 14-18 Belgrave Gate, Leicester.

Melburg CEO Jack Burgess commented;

“The life cycle of Swan Lane highlights the platforms ability to identify off-market value propositions, understand occupiers operational drivers, quickly execute complex management initiatives and realise exceptional risk-adjusted returns. The proceeds from the sale will be redeployed into similar opportunities”

View Property Week article here.

View Costar article here.

One of South Bristol’s biggest shopping centres could be demolished to make way for up to 880 new flats, a two-screen cinema, library and new shopping streets.

Developers have offered their first official submission to council planners for their vision to transform the Broadwalk Shopping Centre at the heart of Knowle into ‘Redcatch Quarter’, a new development more in the mould of Wapping Wharf, with 12-storey blocks of flats either side of a new pedestrianised street lined with shops, restaurants and bars.

Bristol Live first revealed the plans back in January, and since then the developers have conducted a consultation and an exhibition of what they want to do to the landmark 1970s shopping centre on the junction of Wells Road and Broad Walk in Knowle.

Now, the developers have made their first submission to Bristol City Council’s planning department, asking whether they need to include an environmental assessment when they do eventually submit a formal planning application.

And it reveals for the first time officially the scale of the development, which will occupy almost all the space between the Wells Road and Redcatch Park.

The developers said the site could have up to 880 residential dwellings, 7,430sqm of commercial floorspace, 190 sqm of community use, a 320sqm library – which would replace the library that’s in the existing Broadwalk Shopping Centre and 870 sqm given over to a cinema or theatre. On top of that, the developers say the site will include 360 car parking spaces, mainly in an underground car park underneath the development, and cycle parking for a total of 1,455 bikes.

The development would create new streets – one would be a pedestrianised street going from Wells Road to a new entrance to Redcatch Park, and a second would be a service road for the development which would cut across north-south from Redcatch Road almost to Broad Walk.

The site already has planning permission for the shopping centre to be demolished and rebuilt with hundreds of flats. Before the pandemic, developers submitted a plan for 420 new flats and shops – again 12-storeys high – which was eventually given permission by council planners last year.

But the site changed hands and the new developers said the pandemic meant a change in shopping habits, so a new plan with more homes and less space for shops was needed.

The developers said they hope to submit a formal planning application for the new project this summer.

The artist’s impressions of the site reveal the 12 storey block of flats in one drawing would be located at the south western corner of the development site, closest to Redcatch Park on Broad Walk road itself, while the other residential blocks would be around six to nine storeys high.

If the development does end up having a cinema, in the long term it could be the only one in South Bristol, after planning permission was given last year for the Hengrove Leisure Park to be cleared – including the Cineworld multiplex there – for more than 300 new homes.

View Bristol Post article here.

Melburg Capital sells Warehouse K after securing a letting to the government.

What? Melburg Capital sells Warehouse K in London’s Docklands for £45m to Kajima Properties.

Why? Deal follows letting to the government accounting for half the income.

What next? Kajima hopes property will benefit from the opening of Crossrail.

Kajima has bought a Grade II-listed former tobacco warehouse in London’s Docklands for £45m from Melburg Capital, React News can reveal.

The company, which is a subsidiary of Japanese construction giant Kajima Corportation, is buying Warehouse K as part of a drive to expand it’s London office portfolio.

Located next to the ExCel Centre, Warehouse K comprises 108,479 sq ft of office, leisure and industrial space.

Melburg is thought to have paid around £30m when the building last changed hands in 2018. The company then went on to secure a letting to the Secretary of State for Houseing, Communities and Local Government, which accounts for about half the income. The lease runs until 2034.

After securing the letting, Melburg, which invests across a range of sectors, appointed Allsop to begin marketing the building.

The £45m price paid by Kajima reflects a yield of around 5.65%.

Kajima hopes that Warehouse K will benefit from its close proximity to the Crossrail station at Custom House when the rail line opens later this year. The building is also a short walk from the new City Hall for the Greater London Assembly at The Crystal.

Kajima signaled its intention to expand its presence in the London office market last year when it hired Tim James as investment director from Longmead Capital.

James said: ” Situated in a strategic location with significant regeneration and infrastructure improvements occuring within close proximity, this asset offers strong long term growth prospects whilst also providing secure income off sustainable base rents. As we exit the pandemic, the London office market continues to remain resilient and Kajima is commited to driving investment and growth in this market where we identify value.”

Other London assets in Kajima’s portfolio include 77 Coleman Street in Moorgate, which was redeveloped in 2021, and Orwell House in Fitzrovia, which was acquired from British Land in 2020.

Fineman Ross advised Kajima on the deal. Allsop advised Melburg Capital.

View React News article here