Shoosmiths Leeds advises on £13m office to residential conversion deal

Richard Outhwaite

National law firm, Shoosmiths, in Leeds has advised developer, Select Developments and Investment Group, on a £13m office to residential conversion deal.

The deal concerns the 72,975 sq ft office space, Aspect in Bracknell, which is now being lined up for a high quality residential scheme with up to 121 units with possible expansion to provide 146 units.

It is the latest real estate deal of this kind advised on by Shoosmiths in Leeds after the acquisition of a £10m GDV office to residential scheme, Q3 Residences, Hayes in late 2016, at which apartment sales are scheduled to complete in February 2018.

Shoosmiths’ Leeds-based real estate partner Richard Outhwaite said: “Aspect is a substantial office park in a key Thames Valley location and this deal will bring much-needed high quality new homes to Bracknell.

‘The team included myself as well as real estate senior associate, Neil Bradley. We are seeing a growing market for office to residential conversions across the country as the demand for housing continues and people’s working habits are changing, meaning many office buildings are under occupied and no longer in use.

“Our expertise in the Shoosmiths real estate team in Leeds and Manchester means we are well-placed to handle this kind of development transaction. With a team of more than 65 real estate lawyers and staff in both cities, Shoosmiths’ continues to build one of the North’s leading real estate practices.”

Giles Danon, acquisitions director at Select Developments, said: “We are delighted to have acquired this premium office asset in a town that has seen a dramatic reversal of fortunes with the recent opening of the Lexicon shopping centre.

“The team at Shoosmiths enabled a swift transaction in what was a complex deal due to the proximity to the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area.”

Shoosmiths Leeds operation has recently moved to its brand new workspace at Platform in Leeds, marking a major milestone in the company’s vision to create a ‘Northern hub’ of legal expertise.

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