GRE Finance completes £10m in loans for real estate deals

Gre Finance, a specialist lender in the UK real estate market, has finalised two loans worth around £10m. These loans are secured against a £50m gross development value (GDV) planning reposition deal and an operational country house hotel, as the firm continues to expand its lending portfolio.

The first loan is a £5.71m stretch senior acquisition loan secured against a 50,000 sq ft vacant office building on a three-acre site in Hainault, northeast London.

Despite lacking planning permission, Gre Finance provided the loan at 95% of the loan-to-planning permission due to a strong planning case, an experienced sponsor, and access to additional equity.

The property is identified in the Redbridge Local Plan as an opportunity site with potential for residential and mixed-use development. The borrower, Medina Capital Investments, plans a residential project with around 50 townhouses and 40 affordable apartments, aiming for a GDV of approximately £50m.

The second loan is a £3.7m senior loan secured against the Burnham Beeches Hotel, an 82-room operational hotel in Burnham. The loan will refinance existing debt and fund ongoing refurbishment, bringing the hotel’s GDV to around £16m post-stabilisation. The hotel is located 1.2 miles from Burnham Station, which offers Elizabeth Line services to Heathrow Airport, Paddington, Maidenhead, and Reading. The property spans 7.7 acres and includes landscaped gardens, function rooms, a swimming pool, and a fitness and wellness centre.

Gre Finance specialises in pre-planning and asset management-led situations, providing debt and preferred equity between £3m and £50m across all asset classes in London, the South East, and other major UK cities. With these recent deals, Gre Finance’s current loan book totals £120m, secured against residential and commercial properties.

Earlier this year, the firm hired Clare Grimes from Octopus Real Estate and Archie Dickinson from Hilltop Credit Partners to leverage what it describes as a ‘once-in-a-decade opportunity’ in the real estate finance market. SPF acted as the broker for both deals.

Clare Grimes, associate director at Gre Finance, said: “As a lender with a strong focus on partnerships, it’s been a pleasure working with two experienced sponsors who each have a firm vision for how to create real estate that better suits the needs of its users.

“We are seeing more and more appetite among investors and developers to reposition obsolete offices and to create additional value in operational assets, and expect to be having many such conversations on it at UKREiiF as we explore strategic opportunities to grow our loan book. I would like also to thank SPF as the introducing advisor for both of these transactions.”

Daniel Benton, director at Gre Finance, said, “While the market continues to be challenging, savvy investors recognise that now is the time to seize value-add opportunities. Given our in-depth understanding of the property market and our experience in taking on planning risk, we are more than ready to support them to do so and expect this trend to continue through 2024.”