Work has started at Explore, a multi-million-pound Barwood Capital re-development to deliver 45,000 sq ft of much-needed high-quality office accommodation in the centre of Richmond, southwest London.

The building, formerly known as Eton House, was acquired by Barwood’s Regional Property Growth Fund IV in December 2021. Planning permission was granted in September 2022 to reposition the building to prime sustainable office space.

The £15m build will include a back-to-frame refurbishment with an additional top floor of accommodation, a roof terrace, and a ground floor 4,200 sq ft external garden. The redesign focuses on delivering the best quality office space supporting employee health and wellbeing, as well as energy efficiency and biodiversity, by enhancing greening and planting opportunities in both the public realm and private spaces.

RED Construction Ltd will undertake the development, targeting BREEAM Excellent and an EPC A rating, with a Fitwel two-star certification and WiredScore Gold for digital connectivity. Amenities include:

  • 42 cycle parking spaces.
  • Electric vehicle charging points.
  • A gym and spinning studio.
  • Changing rooms and showers.

Practical completion is targeted for March 2024.

Adam Smith, asset management director at Barwood Capital, said: “Our investment in Richmond comes at a time when employers and staff alike are re-evaluating their expectations of the office environment. Demand for high-quality, sustainable and amenity-focused space remains resilient. Our approach is to deliver a best-in-class product that will appeal to occupiers as they review their corporate aspirations.”

Charlie Bishop, director at Moorevale, the development manager for the scheme, added: “As well as the excellent residential provision and good local schools, Richmond benefits from an ever-improving food and beverage scene, plus quick access to London Waterloo via train alongside immediate connectivity to the M4, M3 and beyond.” 

Andrew Willcock, director at Savills, joint leasing agent alongside Bray Fox Smith, added: “Explore is the perfect HQ office building, with excellent sustainability credentials and unrivalled amenity provision for a building of this size. With occupiers continuing their ‘flight to quality’, with 68% of all take up in 2022 for Grade A space (the highest proportion since 2018), this building will cater for the increased demand for ESG exemplar space in the southwest London market that is chronically undersupplied in the larger size bracket.”

Will Hicks director at Graphicks commented, “Graphicks were commissioned to create a new brand identity together with marketing collateral for this exciting high quality re-development project.”

Bray Fox Smith and Savills will act as joint agents on the scheme.

Barwood’s Growth Fund IV is fully invested, and its Growth Fund V is open for investment, having already secured investor commitments of over £42m. The strategy for the Growth Fund series is to invest in underperforming, undermanaged or obsolete real estate throughout the UK regional markets, which have the potential to deliver robust and sustainable growth through planning, development and proactive asset management. 

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