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No Buyer Yet For Major Soho Development In Administration As Creditors Lose Out

The Hub hotel, operated by Premier Inn, has now opened at the scheme.

A major development in the heart of Soho that went into receivership in 2020 is yet to find a buyer, and the lenders to the scheme are likely to face a loss on their loans.

Bisnow revealed last year that the mixed-use scheme at 90-104 Berwick Street, once seen as one of the plum redevelopment sites in Soho, had been put into receivership, with administrators appointed to the special purpose vehicle that owns it.

The scheme was owned by Peter Beckwith’s PMB Holdings, and it went into receivership because the completion was delayed by two years and then the contractor working on the scheme itself went into administration.

The development comprises a 110-bed Premier Inn Hub hotel, 11 retail units and 16 apartments. One of the lenders to the scheme estimated that, when completed, it would be worth more than £100M.

A report from administrators at RBW Restructuring released this week said that while two of the apartments had been sold in the past few months, the commercial element remains unsold. The hotel is currently operational but only one of the retail units is leased. 

The senior lender is Close Brothers, which is owed £29.4M. The junior lender is Beaufort Ventures, which is owed £26M. A previous report from the administrators put the potential value of the scheme at £34M, meaning that Beaufort and other unsecured creditors would not recoup their money.

Before the administration, Shaftesbury had been in talks to buy the scheme. When the completion was delayed, the deal fell away. 

PMB beat competition from major local landlords Soho Estates and Shaftesbury as well as global investor Nuveen to buy the site in 2012. 

Plans for the mixed-use scheme were approved in 2015, but the construction phase of the project on the complex site was beset by problems, including leaking roofs and groundwork issues. The scheme was built underneath a residential tower block, and both residents and traders in the food market that operate from the street complained about noise and dust produced by the site. 

Beckwith came to prominence in real estate after building up a listed company, London & Edinburgh Trust, in the 1980s alongside his brother, Sir John Beckwith, before selling it in 1990 just before the market crashed. He is also one of the founders of the Ambassadors Theatre Group, which was sold to a private equity firm for £250M in 2013.