Oaknorth & Cogress team up to back £16.5m Hackney scheme

UrbanISTA to convert vacant 1970s block into mixed-use development delivering 24 new apartments

Oaknorth and Cogress have teamed up to back a new resi-led project in Hackney.

The firms have stumped up a combined £13m to fund UrbanISTA’s conversion of a 1970s block at 4-14 Spurstowe Terrace into a five-storey resi-led scheme delivering 24 apartments, including four affordable homes, and nearly 3,000 square feet of office space. The total GDV is £16.5m.

Set up in 2011 by Steve Bowring, Michael Masaya Nagata, and Charlie Priester, UrbanISTA has plenty of form in resi conversions, having recently delivered projects including Wheat Wharf in Shad Thames, The Jam Factory by Tower Bridge Road, and 11 Netherhall Gardens in Hampstead.

OakNorth – which describes itself as the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has contributed £10m of the funding, with “exit-oriented property investment company” Cogress putting up a further £3m of equity.

OakNorth has lent over £165m in property finance so far this year, and has a further £160m worth of property deals in the pipeline.

Michael Masaya Nagata, Partner and Director at UrbanISTA: “We are delighted to have the support of both OakNorth and Cogress on this transaction – Hackney has become an increasingly popular area in recent years and is in desperate need of new housing. As a developer focused on unlocking a property’s unique potential, we are excited to be working on this mixed-use development and look forward to its completion.”

Tal Orly, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cogress: “As Hackney has recently become one of the most desirable postcodes in London, we are really excited to be adding this investment opportunity to our growing and diverse UK portfolio. With more than 40 projects in the UK, with a GDV of over £800m and more than £130m of equity raised, Cogress has built a strong reputation for matching carefully vetted opportunities with qualified investors. We are delighted to be working with the ambitious and experienced UrbanISTA Group and partnering once again with OakNorth to bring this attractive new investment opportunity to our network of more than 4,500 qualified investors.”

Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance, and Damien Hughes, Property Finance Director at OakNorth Bank: “The first half of this year has been phenomenal for OakNorth – we’ve closed over 30 property deals with several more being credit-approved and transacted. UrbanISTA has a proven track record and a strong model that has enabled them to build an impressive portfolio in a very short space of time.”