The award-winning property team at Durham law firm, Swinburne Maddison LLP, one of the region’s fastest growing law firms, has advised on a £500k refinancing deal to facilitate the ongoing redevelopment of the Grade II listed Teesdale House on Galgate, Barnard Castle.
Acting on behalf of Shildon-based AKV Group, Swinburne Maddison’s team, and particularly solicitor, Chris Ross along with Paul Griffiths of Teesside-based corporate financiers Marlin Commercial Limited, have been instrumental in facilitating the transaction with Santander so that building work for phase two of the development can get underway.
AKV purchased the property which had formerly been the headquarters of Teesdale District Council at the end of 2014 and thereafter obtained planning permission to convert the old offices into a luxury residential scheme featuring a mix of three and four bedroom homes and one and two bedroom apartments.
Aside from the refinance deal, Swinburne Maddison acted in earlier stages of the Teesdale House project with involvement on the site set up prior to redevelopment and the provision of legal support for the unit sales on phase one.
The law firm was also able to generate a potential additional income stream for AKV by going beyond the initial scope of their instruction and providing advice in relation to alternative structures for the leasehold interest in the site. By setting up the leasehold in accordance with Swinburne Maddison’s advice, it will be possible for AKV to unlock the value of the freehold reversion to the development; a significant asset which they were not aware of originally.
This is the latest in a number of property transactions which have seen turnover at the law firm increase by 25 per cent year on year, leading to the creation of nine new jobs, including two current vacancies for commercial property solicitors within the property team.
Commenting on the Teesdale House transaction and Swinburne Maddison’s role, partner, Victoria Walton, said:
“Teesdale House, which is a listed landmark building situated within a conservation area, is a complex piece of property, comprising several dwellings. The main challenge for us has been in trying to coordinate the timing of the refinance with the final sales of the units on phase one so that there was no delay for AKV in getting phase two underway.
“The fact that our property team regularly works for banks and understands their requirements on developments such as this meant that we were able to pre-empt any enquiries and pull together the necessary information very early on in the transaction allowing the refinance to progress seamlessly within the desired timescale.
AKV managing director, Karl Everitt, said: “We are delighted with the service from Swinburne Maddison. The team has provided a swift and professional response from the outset. The three homes which comprise phase one are all sold and we want to be able to embark on phase two, so we are very pleased that it has all gone so smoothly. We hope to be working with Swinburne Maddison again soon on another of our exciting developments in Spennymoor.”
Speaking about the relationship between client, broker and lawyers which ensured a smooth and fast turnaround aided by Santander Corporate & Commercial Marlin Commercial’s managing director, Paul Griffiths, commented:
“Given the current economic climate and banks’ appetite to lend to property developers, this case shows what can be achieved if businesses are able to work closely with a team of professional advisers from the outset of any project. We were able to create a proposal suitable for Santander on this occasion due to the close working relationship we have developed with AKV and Swinburne Maddison, something we look forward to growing in the future”.
Vanessa Collins, relationship director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, acted in the £500k refinancing of Teesdale House. She added: “We are pleased we have been able to provide financial support to enable the next phase of this successful residential development to get underway. AKV is providing much needed housing within the Barnard Castle area and phase one of the scheme has been very popular with all units already sold.”