Strawberry Star acquires UK site for €285m housing scheme

London-headquarted Strawberry Star has acquired a residential development site in Harlow, Essex from EPISO, an opportunity fund advised by Tristan Capital Partners, in partnership with Addington Capital.

Financial details were not disclosed, but Strawberry Star said that the site's expected gross development value was likely to exceed £240 mln (€285 mln).

The 4.5 acre (1.82 ha) site, adjacent to EPISO's Harvey Shopping Centre, has consent for 447 units in four standalone blocks, which will be built by Strawberry Star's house building division, Strawberry Star Homes. Addington said that the planning permission for the site, which was previously a shopping centre, also included 40,000 ft2 of retail space, plus underground car parking.

Santhosh Gowda, Chairman, Strawberry Star Group, said: 'The Harlow site is an important investment for Strawberry Star to realise our volume housing vision for Londoners, especially first-time buyers. This site is part of our long-term strategy to deliver 4,000 new homes by 2025. Massive regeneration in Harlow is also driving local demand for quality housing. We intend to provide homes at prices which are affordable to home buyers, who have been priced out of London.'

'Addington and Tristan have been early movers in the repurposing of underperforming shopping centre space and with the shortage of quality housing in the area, we believe this will provide benefits to all,' said Jeremy Bullock, director at Tristan Capital Partners.

Martin Roberts, Principal of Addington Capital, added: 'We were offered a good price for the site and wish Strawberry Star well in progressing the redevelopment. We will continue to intensively asset manage the rest of the shopping centre in the meantime.'

Addington and EPISO bought the Harvey Shopping Centre as part of a broader portfolio in 2011, and said they have continued to refurbish and improve the scheme. Its F&B and leisure zone, the Terrace, opened in 2016 anchored by Cineworld and a number of restaurant tenants.


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