AG Hondo Popes Road BV, the Amsterdam-based company seeking planning permission for a 19-storey tower on Popes Road in central Brixton, does not own the land on which it would be built.
It still belongs to Sports Direct International (SDI), which bought it on 17 December 2018 for £23,000,000 from two other parts of the Sports Direct empire: SDI (Brixton) Limited and SDI (Propco 75).
Sports Direct originally bought the Pope’s Road site for half this sum – £11,750,000 – in 2017.
A spokesperson for Hondo Enterprises, which owns Brixton Village next to the Pope’s Road site in partnership with the giant US finance corporation Angelo Gordon, said there is an “agreement to purchase” the site from SDI.
The Blog put the following questions to the spokesperson:
- Will the purchase proceed only if planning permission is obtained?
- If this is not the case, is there a fixed timescale for the purchase?
- Is the purchase dependent on Angelo Gordon/Hondo obtaining extra finance?
The spokesperson replied: “It’s a private matter so we won’t be saying any more on that subject.”
Hondo’s website says that it acquired the site in December 2018.
There had been speculation when Brixton Village and Market Row were put up for sale that they would be bought by Sports Direct.
But Angelo Gordon and Hondo became the owners after Bruce Gillingham Pollard (BGP) – “the leading niche agency offering creative property solutions” – acting for AG and Hondo, bought Brixton Market and Market Row for £37,250,000.
BGP also acted for the two companies in buying leases affecting the properties “for a confidential sum”.
BGP said it was able to draw on its “extensive occupier relationships and contacts to engineer a purchase structure that was blind to the open market”.
At the time, BGP said in a case study on its website, later taken down, that: “the assets, in our opinion, were heavily under rented” and that it was now “implementing the asset management strategy”.
A later page on the BGP website says that it continues “to advise on the leasing and commercialisation strategy” for Brixton Village and Market Row.
The proposal as it stands is unimaginative as it misses a huge opportunity for Brixton – the construction of the (much discussed) station for the East London Line. And, taking advantage of economies of scope, the reopening of platforms and access to the Catford Loop tracks as well.
Radically improving public transport access in this manner would be a huge boon for the people of Brixton, and would also benefit the developers greatly, due to the greatly increased footfall they would enjoy from all the extra visitors.
Below are the email addresses for the three councillors for Coldharbour Ward, the ward in which this development is located. I think that it would be a crying shame to miss the opportunity to improve Brixton’s connections in this way: Brixtonites could travel more easily to jobs elsewhere in London, and more visitors could come to shop, eat and work in Brixton. Of course Hondo should pay for the new station(s), as Hondo’s development will also benefit massively from such increased traffic.
Please consider contacting the Coldharbour councillors if you agree.
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