Matthew Neville

“Historic” London office space to become £34m luxury hotel

OakNorth Bank has provided a £34.3m loan to a property business founded by entrepreneur, Alex Shamash, and joint venture partner Boscalt Hospitality, a fund that is a member of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity partnerships.

The capital will be used to convert the 15 Old Bailey property from office space into a new luxury hotel, restoring it to its former use whilst preserving its “unique history”.

The Victorian property was originally built as the Holborn Viaduct Hotel in 1874 by famed architect, Evans Cronk. It was built for Spiers & Pond, the world’s first large-scale catering business which was responsible for the first cricket test match between England and Australia.

The hotel was the first in London to have electric lighting but in the 1900’s, was converted to office space which it has remained as ever since. The new hotel will have around 110 bedrooms, a speakeasy restaurant and bar, along with a full-service restaurant, and a gym.

Alex Shamash commented: “Having secured planning permission, we have searched for the right funding partners for this project and we are pleased to have selected OakNorth. The fact that OakNorth Bank was able to structure a facility to enable us to refinance and develop the hotel, meant we could also focus on securing the right operator”.

Liza Masías from Boscalt Hospitality added: “We’re excited to bring this new hotel concept to market whilst preserving the building’s unique legacy and its 19th Century features. The hotel integrates the best market standards of sustainably and will feature a speakeasy bar and Levantine open kitchen restaurant concept”.

Deepesh Thakrar, senior director of debt finance at OakNorth Bank said: “Alex Shamash and The Boscalt team have the proven track record and impressive experience in successfully completing large-scale property projects.

“Given the historic significance of the building and the fact that it’s attracted a well-established brand as an operator, we wanted to design a facility that would enable Boscalt and Alex to move quickly and avoid the opportunity cost of having to secure financing for each stage of the project”.

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