Tag Archives: criterion capital

Croydon key to Criterion PRS growth in 2015

Developer and property investor Criterion Capital will deliver more than 1,500 apartments into the private rented sector around London and the south east, during 2015. And more than 580 of the new units will be in Croydon.

The company has recently signed construction contracts to begin work on a number of sites, principally converting redundant office buildings into flats for rent. It has projects live in Basildon, Colliers Wood, Croydon and Sutton. All of the completed homes will be offered for rent under Criterion’s Miflats brand, which promises to provide additional services and amenities for tenants including car pooling, cleaning, a concierge, fitness facilities and self storage.

More than a third of the new flats will be delivered in Croydon, where three separate projects are under way. Delta Point, formerly an office block occupied by BT, will convert to provide 404 apartments. Nearby Canterbury House and Bedford Park will produce a further 180 apartments. A £48m trio of design and build contracts has been agreed with contractor Longcross to carry out the conversions.  The design and specification of the flats is tailored specifically from the outset for rent, meaning a distinctly different look to apartments being built locally for sale, by developers such as Berkeley.

Delta Point, former offices being converted to provide 404 apartments for private rent

Delta Point, former offices being converted to provide 404 apartments for private rent

How Delta Point will look after conversion to flats

How Delta Point will look after conversion to flats

At Delta Point, work will include fitting a new roof and facades. Longcross London office director Paul Thomas said: “This significant award reinforces our visibility in the capital, establishes us as a lead provider in the PRS market and consolidates our secured workload for the next financial year.”

Elsewhere, in Basildon, Essex, the company is converting a former Ford Motor Company office block to add 384 apartments to rent. This too should be ready for tenants by the end of 2015.

Iain Murray, who joined Criterion Capital several months back as director of PRS, commented: “While last year was about planning and preparation, this year is about construction and delivery.  Now that work is under way across our first developments, we are working hard to ensure that we will offer unparalleled management services for when our first tenants move in later this year.”

Canterbury House in Croydon will also be converted to residential

Canterbury House in Croydon will also be converted to residential

The 1,500 flats should between them have a capital value of around £500m, and an annual rent roll of around £21m. Criterion is likely to be looking for additional financial partners, possibly selling on completed and stabilised blocks to long term investors such as pension funds, once all the flats are let.

Criterion has secured £115m of funding from backers including Barclays, HSBC and RBS for its projects, and has ambitious plans to deliver a further 5,000 homes by 2020. The company has taken advantage of permitted development rights, under a government initiative that has allowed office blocks to be converted to residential use, without planning permission being needed for the change of use.

Miflats private rented brand launched into PRS market

UK developer and property investor Miflats has launched a new private rented brand, Miflats, which it intends will become a major player in the professional private rented sector in the UK. The newly formed brand promises to deliver a level of service and flexibility into the rental market, similar to that prevalent in the upper levels of the US home rental market.

The launch comes as Criterion readies its first private rented schemes, with projects including up to 2,000 flats in the planning stage. The company says it has a pipeline of around 10,000 units for delivery by 2020, and will establish Miflats as one of the most active landlords in the PRS.

“The landscape for the private rental sector is changing apace and being a passive investor is no longer an option,” said Iain Murray, director of PRS at the company. “The launch of the Miflats brand has been brought about by consumer demand for a rental product and service that suits their lifestyle. We have responded with a consumer facing brand and service that redefines the landlord/tenant relationship and brings it into the 21st century.”

East India Dock, where Criterion Capital plans to convert offices to create 1,500 rental flats

East India Dock, where Criterion Capital plans to convert offices to create 1,500 rental flats

Criterion’s private rented pipeline includes:

former Ford offices at Trafford House, Basildon where permission has been sought to convert the building to create 384 flats

Canterbury House, Astral House, 5 Bedford Park and Delta House in south London, which the company purchased with the intention to convert to flats for rental

East India Dock in London’s Docklands, where 1,500 flats are planned through the conversion of four existing office buildings – one of which is currently the town hall for Tower Hamlets council.

Criterion Capital has property development and investment interests across London, with its most famous asset being the Trocadero building on London’s Piccadilly Circus, where the company recently announced it will be creating the largest Ibis hotel in the UK.