Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Brookgate on their forward funding deal in Cambridge with Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited.
Aviva has agreed to pay £87m to forward fund the largest office development at Brookgate’s CB1 development scheme in central Cambridge. Aviva will buy the site and fund construction of the 163,000 sq ft office at 50 and 60 Station Road. The building is expected to be finished in April 2019 and will include some retail units at ground floor.
With negotiations taking place over the BREXIT vote, Aviva's decision to proceed with a regional speculative office development (no tenants presently under contract) will be seen as a significant boost for the property development industry, proving that the right schemes in the right locations can still be brought forward even in these more uncertain times.
Aviva has also committed to a pipeline of almost 200,000 sq ft of future development at CB1.
The firm has acted for Brookgate since 2008 on the client's masterplan development of the mixed-use development scheme at Cambridge station that includes 625,000 sq ft of offices, a hotel, 3,000 space cycle park, restaurants, bars, student accommodation and upgrades to the station and concourse which has transformed the area. Occupiers already include Microsoft and Deloitte with other global companies interested in locating to the development to benefit from the unique environment and access to human capital offered by Cambridge. In that time over £300m of funding has been secured.
The team was led by real estate partner Don Rowlands and senior associate William Turnbull.
Will Turnbull, senior associate in the firm's real estate practice, commented: "We were delighted to act again for Brookgate on a game changing deal for them. Despite post BREXIT concerns it proves that speculative development outside of London is possible where you have the right fundamentals, a strong developer with an excellent track record of delivery and a good partner."
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