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HSBC refinances Baupost and Helical Bar City fringe scheme with £165m RCF

HSBC has provided a £165m revolving credit facility (RCF) to joint venture partners that together own Barts Square scheme on the City fringe, hedge fund The Baupost Group and Helical Bar.

The new HSBC RCF refinances £35m of existing debt, also from HSBC, which was due to be repaid in March 2015.

The new facility refinances the investment assets, currently let on short term leases to the NHS, and provides funding for the construction of Phase 1 of the scheme which incorporates 144 residential units, 24,000 sq ft of office accommodation, retail/restaurant space and accompanying public realm improvements.

The terms of the facility, repayable in December 2019, allow drawdowns of 100% of construction costs and benefit from a current all-inclusive interest rate of circa 3.5%.

Baupost owns two-thirds of the JV, while partners Helical Bar owns one-third. The Barts Square scheme is comprised of the freehold interest in land and buildings at Bartholomew Close, Little Britain and Montague Street, a 3.2-acre site adjacent to the new Barts Hospital and just south of Smithfield Market.

The current buildings comprise 420,000 sq ft, let to the NHS on a number of short term leases that expire between 2014 and 2016 (the joint venture has obtained vacant possession on all buildings which will comprise Phase 1 of the development).

Planning consent has been obtained for a comprehensive redevelopment of 19 buildings to provide a total of 215 residential apartments, two office buildings of 202,000 sq ft and 23,500 sq ft, 21,800 sq ft of retail/restaurant use at ground floor as well as major public realm improvements. Phase 1 commenced on 5 January 2015.

Tim Murphy, Finance Director at Helical Bar, said: “Helical has a longstanding relationship with the team at HSBC and we are pleased to extend this relationship with the agreement of this new five year development facility.”

Oliver Rippier, Development Executive at Helical Bar, said: “This new facility has enabled the joint venture to start on site and with 50 apartments already sold out of the 88 apartments initially released in Phase 1, we are confident the scheme will be a great success.”

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