Bridges Ventures sells Elmbridge Court business park following sustainability-led refurbishment
- Bridges’ Sustainable Property Fund bought the property in 2011
- Since then the building’s carbon footprint has been reduced by 60% and tenants’ energy bills have been halved
- The site – which is now fully occupied – is prominently positioned near the M5
The Bridges Sustainable Property Fund, a specialist property fund managed by Bridges Ventures (“Bridges”), has agreed to sell the Elmbridge Court business park near Gloucester to Archimedes, a fund managed by M7 Real Estate, for £6m. The sale price reflects a net initial yield of 9%.
Elmbridge Court is a 44,000 sq. ft. business park comprising 25 office buildings, which range in size from 1,250 sq ft to 3,100 sq ft. The site is located in a prominent position adjacent to the A40 between Cheltenham and Gloucester, within 1.5 miles of Junction 11 of the M5 motorway.
Ashbridge Developments, a specialist investment and asset management business, has been operating the site under contract, playing a key role in everything from feasibility studies, to construction procurement, to general project management.
The Bridges Sustainable Property Fund bought Elmbridge Court in a £3.2m off-market transaction in 2011. Bridges subsequently invested around £400,000 installing photovoltaic roof panels across the site which ultimately reduced the building’s carbon emissions by 60%, while also cutting tenants’ energy bills by 50%. Coupled with a substantially-enhanced marketing effort, this ensured that the site went from being more than half vacant to a 100% occupancy rate during the period of Bridges’ ownership.
The investment is also in line with Bridges’ long-standing focus on investing in SME office space, which it believes can have a positive social impact by supporting entrepreneurship and creating additional employment in the local area. Other Bridges deals in this sector have included The Office, a specialist provider of flexible office space that was sold for a two times return in 2010; and more recently, 158-170 Edmund Street, two adjacent office buildings in Birmingham, which were sold in December to F&C UK Property Fund for £11.65m, reflecting a yield of 5.75%.
Savills acted for Bridges, while Franck-Steier Price acted for M7 Real Estate.
Guy Bowden, Acquisitions Director at Bridges Ventures, commented:
“Elmbridge Court has been a good example of how Bridges’ focus on improving environmental sustainability can deliver not only a positive societal impact through reduced carbon emissions, but also better value-for-money for tenants through lower energy bills. This has helped us to transform occupancy rates during the last three years. We’re sure the site will continue to go from strength to strength under its new ownership.”
Notes to editors
About The Bridges Sustainable Property Fund
The Bridges Sustainable Property Fund is an entrepreneurial fund that targets niche real estate opportunities driven by demographic shifts and changing consumer needs in areas like healthcare, education, SME business space and affordable residential accommodation. It seeks to make property investments – either directly or via joint ventures – that have the potential to make strong financial returns as well as delivering social and environmental impact.
About Bridges Ventures (www.bridgesventures.com)
Bridges Ventures LLP (“Bridges”) is a specialist fund manager focused exclusively on sustainable and impact investing – using commercial investment strategies to generate attractive financial returns alongside positive social and environmental impact. In the last 12 years, it has demonstrated that by using impact as a lens to identify and engage with investments, it is possible to deliver outstanding returns both for investors and for society as a whole. The firm manages nearly £500m across its Sustainable Growth, Property and Social Sector funds.
About M7 Real Estate
M7 Real Estate is a specialist investor and asset manager of secondary real estate. The business has ten mandates across the UK and Continental Europe and is continuously seeking new investment opportunities and relationships to grow the business and strengthen the platform. Founded in 2009, the business is headquartered in London and has six other offices across Continental Europe. Archimedes is the vehicle through which M7 acts as investment and asset manager for Oaktree Capital on a portfolio of business parks in the UK, comprising almost 400,000 sq.ft of space.
About Ashbridge Developments Ltd
Ashbridge Developments Ltd (ADL) is a privately owned company providing commercial property development and project management expertise to occupiers, property owners and funders. Established in 2007, ADL uses its skills and experience to facilitate, direct and procure the numerous individual elements that culminate in the creation of successful development projects in an increasingly dynamic and demanding market place.
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