20th June 2023

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Blackfinch Property completes £9.7m student development loan

Financing will be used to develop state-of-the-art student accommodation in Aberdeen, Scotland

Blackfinch Property, a rapidly growing agile lender to the residential and commercial real estate sectors, has completed a £9.7m development loan facility, with a loan duration of 18 months, which will be used to convert a former hotel into premium student accommodation.

The site was formerly a Hilton Hotel that ceased trading in early 2020. As such, only minimal work is necessary to achieve the conversion to student accommodation. Upon completion, the scheme will offer 105 rooms, and associated communal space to bring students together. All rooms will be larger than the typical studio rooms available in purpose-built student accommodation schemes.

The development plan fits neatly with Blackfinch Property’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles. For example, there will be student cycle stores/bicycle racks to encourage environmentally-friendly travel. There will also be a broader social impact for Aberdeen, since opening the student accommodation complex will create a number of jobs in the local area, and the developer will be making a contribution to local healthcare provision, benefitting the wider community.

David Diemer, Investment Director at Blackfinch Property, said: “Having originally worked with the borrower [Optimal] to refinance their original purchase of this site late last year, we were delighted to be able to conclude this development loan to ensure the conversion of the property to provide much-needed student accommodation. We had a tight deadline to allow the contractors to get on-site and work to have the rooms ready for the September 2023 academic year and new student intake. But the focus and professionalism of the borrower’s team enabled us to work towards the tight timescale and we share their vision for this exciting project.”

Tom O’Brien, former commercial and development finance broker at Ennesss Global and now a Partner at Portway Finance, said: “It was great working with the team at Blackfinch Property, first on the initial bridging loan and then the development finance that will fund the works to convert the building. The whole lending team worked with the borrower and ourselves throughout to make sure everyone was on the same page and up-to-date on any progress, which made the whole process very smooth. I look forward to working with the Blackfinch team again.”

Blackfinch Property is a fully funded provider of innovative short-term bridging and development financing solutions. For more information, email [email protected].