Singapore-based CapitaLand’s serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has entered into an agreement to acquire from Sager House (Almeida) Limited (SHAL – a joint venture between Sager Group and Cain Hoy) a serviced apartment scheme at the Islington Square mixed-use development in London for £52 million, through Ascott’s serviced residence global fund with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
The hospitality scheme, which will operate as Citadines Islington London, will provide 108 serviced apartments and deliver a new hospitality offering for the UK capital. Developed by Sager Group, in association with Cain Hoy, Sager House (Almedia) Islington Square is the transformation of the former Royal Mail’s North London mail centre, just off Upper Street, into a new £450 million 4.5 acre mixed use destination for London providing 263 new homes and 170,000 sqft of retail and leisure facilities.
Ascott’s US$600 million (£420 million) serviced residence global fund with QIA was established through a 50:50 joint venture in 2015. It is Ascott’s largest private equity fund and invests in serviced residences and rental housing properties with an initial focus on Asia Pacific and Europe. The fund has already acquired two serviced residence in Paris and Tokyo. Citadines Islington London is the fund’s third acquisition and its first in the UK capital.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ascott’s fund with QIA provides the financial boost to support our acquisitions and growth as Ascott gears up to achieve our global target of 80,000 apartment units by 2020. Making our third acquisition within five months is a testament to Ascott’s strong alignment of interest with our capital partners. The addition of Citadines Islington London will strengthen Ascott’s position as one of the largest international serviced residence operators in Europe, with assets of over S$1.5 billion. Our portfolio in the region will increase to more than 5,300 units in 45 properties across France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Georgia and Spain. We aim to double our portfolio in Europe to 10,000 units by 2020.”
Mr Alfred Ong, Ascott’s Managing Director for Europe, said: “Scheduled to open in 2018, Citadines Islington London is located in the heart of Islington close to the West End shopping and restaurant district; the City of London financial district and the Old Street/Tech City IT hub. Islington Square is an exciting real estate development which will create a new Covent Garden style destination for London. The area surrounding Citadines Islington London houses multinational corporations such as Amazon, Barclays, Facebook, Intel as well as Google which bought a site at King’s Cross for their £1 billion headquarters.”
Giris Rabinovitch, CEO of Sager Group commented, “We are delighted to have completed the deal with Ascott to bring their Citadines brand to Islington Square. The serviced apartments are perfectly located for business visitors and tourists alike. Users will be well served by public transport, with the apartments located between Angel Underground and Highbury & Islington Station, with bus services to The City and West End.”
Jonathan Goldstein, Chief Executive Officer at Cain Hoy said: “This is the Ascott-QIA fund’s first acquisition in the UK and reflects how Prime London real estate and prestigious projects like Islington Square are the location of choice for inward global investment. This is a major international real estate deal for London.”
Citadines Islington London will be located on the upper floors of the iconic Edwardian former Royal Mail sorting office. This grand six storey Edwardian building was originally built in 1904-1906 and designed by architect Jasper Wager, under the auspices of HM King Edward VII’s Public Buildings Department for the Post Master General’s Office.
Citadines Islington London will provide a selection of classic rooms, studio suites and one bedroom apartments.
The serviced apartments will benefit from the building’s grand proportions, generous ceiling heights and tall Edwardian windows which overlook Esther Anne Place and its cinema, theatre, gym and retail shops. The internal windows will overlook the zen garden located in the large central courtyard.
Citadines Islington London will provide a home-away-from-home experience in a contemporary setting, coupled with the flexibility for residents to choose from a full range of services and lifestyle facilities to customise their stay. These include a Third Space health club with swimming pool and gymnasium; an Odeon Lounge Cinema, shops, cafes and restaurants.
Citadines Islington London is close to London’s West End and just a 10-minute walk to The Emirates Stadium, home of the renowned Arsenal Football Club. Islington has excellent transport links, with the nearby St. Pancras International station providing easy access to the Eurostar railway that links to other parts of Europe.
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For more information on Islington Square click here