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EXCLUSIVE: Singaporean Bank Refinances £600M City Office With WeWork Lease

A statue in the public area of the Devonshire Square complex

A Singaporean bank has provided a new loan to refinance debt secured against a 633K SF London office campus where WeWork is a significant tenant, Bisnow can reveal. 

United Overseas Bank was the original lender and loan arranger on a new loan to refinance Devonshire Square, opposite Liverpool Street station in the City, according to a loan document seen by Bisnow

A £155M securitised loan to the property matured in May this year and was refinanced in August. The building is owned by a joint venture of U.S. pension fund TIAA and Danish pension fund PFA. WeWork previously owned 10% of the equity in the campus but was bought out a year ago. The scheme is managed by TIAA-owned Nuveen

The size of the new loan was not disclosed in the documentation. A notice to investors that owned bonds secured against the matured £155M loan indicated that it had been repaid in full. 

The building was valued at £603M in May last year, at which point it was 25% vacant. It was 23% vacant as of May 2023, per the last investor report before the refinancing. But its owners were due to take vacant possession of one building totalling around 90K SF in June to refurbish it, which will increase the vacancy rate. 

The loan-to-value ratio of the previous loan at the point of refinancing was 27%. 

TIAA, PFA and WeWork bought the 13-building campus from Blackstone for £580M in May 2018. The original plan was for WeWork to occupy three of the buildings and gradually expand into the rest of the campus, but the coworking firm has instead contracted in size.

WeWork is the third-largest tenant in the campus, paying £1.3M of rent, or 10% of the rent roll. Coventry University accounts for 17%, and Equinix is responsible for 15%. The coworking company has started a global process of renegotiating unprofitable leases with landlords. 

WeWork occupies Building 8 and Building 10 at the scheme, the investor report said. As of May, Building 8 was 68% occupied and Building 10 was 97% occupied.

Nuveen did not respond to a request for comment.