HUB and Bridges acquire London commercial for resi conversion

HUB and Bridges acquire prime City of London commercial building for a residential conversion, as part of HubCap’s focus on emerging living models.

City of London commercial building acquired by HUB and Bridges to redevelop into a residential scheme | BTR News
City of London commercial building acquired by HUB and Bridges to redevelop into a residential scheme.

Developer HUB and sustainable and impact investor Bridges Fund Management acquire 45 Beech Street on the edge of the iconic Barbican Estate for £30m, with plans to refurbish the existing building to deliver a residential scheme. DP9 is acting as planning consultant and Knight Frank advised on the deal. HK London and Michael Elliot acted for the seller.

The scheme will be developed by HubCap, a wholly owned subsidiary of HUB which focuses on low carbon building reuse and emerging property types such as co-living and aparthotels. The type of living model for this scheme is yet to be decided. The team are developing proposals over the coming months, and are considering the different models.

HubCap intends to comprehensively engage with residents to ensure the building is improved in a considerate manner, with community consultation on plans for the site to begin in the coming weeks.

“The Barbican has a proud history of pioneering city centre living and public realm, including the YMCA it housed from the 1970s. This scheme will deliver much-needed living spaces to the area on a site that is in need of an upgrade to meet changing building and energy performance standards. We look forward to developing the site in a way that’s authentic and respectful of this beloved place, alongside Bridges. 

HubCap launched in 2022, as part of a strategic vision to build a platform to deliver and operate emerging living models, with a focus on repurposing existing buildings, to bring vibrant and highly sustainable communities to urban areas that need reinvigorating – Beech Street is our largest deal to date.”

Miles Keeley, Principal at HubCap

The acquired commercial office building sits within the overall Barbican masterplan. The redevelopment will allow the important character of the building to be preserved, whilst also saving significant amounts of embodied carbon.

London firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has been appointed as architect for the project, sharing HUB and Bridges’ focus on delivering outstanding places that maintain the integrity of their surroundings.

“London has a pressing need for more high-quality living space to house its growing population. Since 2014 we have partnered with HUB on a number of schemes that are on course to deliver more than 3,300 lower-cost and affordable homes with values of over £1bn.

“As part of our mission to help build a more sustainable and inclusive economy, we continue to explore new models with the potential to deliver high-quality housing while reducing carbon emissions. So we’re excited to be working again with HUB on this new Beech Street development: By investing our investors’ capital in needs-driven sectors like this, we are able to deliver our combined targets of strong financial returns for our investors alongside very positive social and environmental outcomes.”

Simon Ringer, Head of Property Funds, Bridges Fund Management

This acquisition adds to HUB and Bridges’ successful track record of delivering well-designed, sustainable community-led residential schemes. The deal is the eleventh for the pair, and builds on the recent acquisition of another City of London site on Ludgate Hill. Both schemes will be developed by HubCap, who also have two other projects under development in Edinburgh.