A developer has taken on a £13.6 million loan to build an eight-storey block of flats in Hove along with ground-floor offices.
Martin Homes, which is working on a number of projects locally, has borrowed the money to help fund the £22 million scheme in Davigdor Road, Hove.
The site, which is almost half an acre in size, was once the location of Hyde Housing Association’s Brighton and Hove base.
It sits between the new Artisan flats to the west, on the corner of Lyon Close, and to the east of P&H House, the old Palmer and Harvey head office.
Work is under way at the site which Hyde sold to a company called Withdean Commercial Property for £5.1 million, with planning permission for 68 flats.
But covenants affecting the site mean that a more modest scheme has since been granted planning permission, with 52 flats now under construction.
The planning approval was granted to Withdean Commercial Property, which was set up by Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer, owners of the Imex international exhibitions business, based in Ellen Street, Hove.
They wanted new premises in the hope of creating up to 30 jobs in addition to the 60 staff already working for Imex when planning permission was granted in 2019.
Withdean Commercial Property has since sold the site for an undisclosed sum to Martin Homes but Imex still intends to move into the ground-floor office space.
Martin Homes is the developer behind other local schemes, including homes in Buckingham Road and Whitehawk Road, both in Brighton, and Portland Road, Hove.
The company, which was founded in 2008, is expected to complete the scheme – which includes five affordable homes, 25 car parking space and 90 cycle parking spaces – in about two years’ time.
At that stage, a financial review is expected to assess whether the scheme is making enough profit to justify paying Brighton and Hove City Council some money towards the cost of affordable housing elsewhere.
Most of the flats will have one or two bedrooms and are due to be marketed by Oakley Property and Savills.
When the offices and flats are occupied, the scheme is expected to contribute £2.65 million a year to the local economy, councillors were told when they debated the planning application.
Martin Homes is also expected to pay “developer’s contributions” totalling more than £280,000 to the council under a “section 106 agreement”.
The developer has taken on the £13.6 million loan from specialist lender OakNorth Bank – and the lender’s debt finance associate Anirudh Kare said: “Having successfully completed numerous developments in London and across the Sussex, Surrey and Kent counties, Martin Homes has built up a strong reputation.
“With over three decades of experience, David Martin has led the company superbly and we are delighted to have once again been chosen as the company’s funding partner.
“Both Brighton and Hove are facing an under-supply of quality new builds – this shortage, coupled with a recent drive from the local council to regenerate the area with new-build developments, will likely mean the Davigdor Road site will be another success story for Martin Homes.”
Mr Martin said: “While the nature and architectural styles of our projects have been varied and diverse throughout the years, our ethos of ‘with you every step of the way’, remains at the forefront of how we work, and this is exactly the approach we took with our site along Davigdor Road.
“With many employers set to continue offering flexible working conditions, despite all remaining covid restrictions being lifted in England, we expect demand to be high from commuting professionals and young families who want more space.
“We’ve worked with OakNorth Bank on several occasions now, and keep going back to them because, time and again, they prove to be a valuable funding partner who understand the market and have an in-depth understanding of our business.”