Helical Bar has obtained a £165m revolving credit facility from HSBC for its Barts Square scheme, in the City of London, held in joint venture with The Baupost Group. The new loan provides funding for the construction of Phase 1 of the project, which incorporates 144 residential units, 24,000 sq ft of offices , retail/restaurant space and accompanying public realm improvements and refinances an existing £35m facility from HSBC.
“The strength of our relationship with HSBC helped,” says Helical’s finance director Tim Murphy. “They funded the acquisition three years ago, so they are familiar with the site , understand the plans and can see the potential of the site – they’ve walked around it many times in the last three years.”
The facility, which is non-recourse, allows drawdowns of 100% of construction costs and currently carries an all-inclusive interest rate of circa 3.5%; it is repayable in December 2019. It refinances the investment assets, which are currently let on short-term leases to the NHS and are part of the security for the facility. “It also helped that the remaining assets are generating income for a couple of more years,” notes Murphy.
The mixed-use development, covering 3.2 acres in the City of London, was largely occupied by St Bart’s Hospital; Helical and US investor Baupost acquired it for £55m in 2011, with further payments of up to £35m dependent on planning permission and vacant possession.