Citra Living acquires apartments at former Ford HQ

Citra Living acquires an office-to-residential apartment portfolio at Ford’s Former European HQ in Essex from the Land Charter Group.

The new office-to-residential development that has been acquired by Citra Living | BTR News
The new office-to-residential development that has been acquired by Citra Living.

Property consultancy Allsop completes on the sale of 124 apartments at Ford’s Former European HQ in Essex, which forms part of the Land Charter Group’s 330-home regeneration project in Warley. The apartment portfolio has been purchased by Citra Living – a part of Lloyds Banking Group – for £35.7m, with an anticipated gross ERV yield of 5.5%. Allsop acted on behalf of the vendor Land Charter Group.

“It’s Citra’s mission to provide a great rental experience in sustainable homes and communities: Warley HQ is a fantastic example of modern living made more attractive by the rich history of the building and surrounding area. It’s been fantastic to work with Citra on this deal given their experience in the sector, and we look forward to working with them on future opportunities.”

Jack Buttleman, Land Charter Group

The development includes one- and two-bedroom Build to Rent apartments. Amenities include a residents’ lounge, café, gym, shared workspaces, meeting rooms, a dining room and BBQ areas, coordinated by a dedicated building manager. The development includes sustainable features such as solar panels and electrical vehicle charging points, encouraging the use of sustainable transport.

Located within a short walk to Brentwood train station, residents will benefit from fast rail links to London via the Elizabeth Line, with Liverpool Street station a 40-minute journey away.

“It’s great to work with a family-run business like Land Charter that knows the value of community and maintaining historical architectural aspects while boosting the supply of much-needed high-quality, rented accommodation in this part of Essex.

“What’s striking about Warley HQ is the energy credentials of the building. By investing in a project which retains the original building structure, there are significant embodied carbon savings.

“This building has also been designed to accommodate those working from home with meeting rooms and high-speed internet. It also offers a variety of features to promote the overall health of the residents. There’s plenty to explore in the Brentwood borough, whether it be open countryside or boutique shopping, so everyone is catered for.”

Andy Hutchinson, Managing Director, Citra Living

The acquired development was an office-to-residential conversion project. With the support of the original architects, tp bennett, the original 1964 building was sensitively repositioned. The unique historical features of the building’s façade have been maintained, contributing to a reduction in the embodied carbon in development and operation, as the original building structure has been retained.

“Ford’s former Warley HQ is a superb example of an office-to-residential conversion through permitted development, an asset class which has been of increasing interest to investors and in which Allsop has built considerable expertise over the years. Thanks to Land Charter Group and its partners, this building has retained its historical features as well as acquiring new sustainable elements, making it well suited to the needs of modern occupiers.

“Located in a desirable part of Essex and benefitting from excellent transport links, the apartments will undoubtedly appeal to a broad range of home seekers, including commuters. As the UK rental crisis show no signs of abating, this development presented an excellent investment opportunity for the buyer, not least because of its strong sustainability credentials.”

William Shoebotham, Partner, Allsop