The MET Building, E141-74 Commercial Road and Met Works Building, London E1
- LaSalle IM and Nottingham Trent University
- 41-74 Commercial Road and Met Works Building, London E1
- 140,000 sq ft of education and ancillary accommodation
- Practical Completion
- Q2 2023
- Asset Class
- Broadcasting/production studios and E-sports auditorium
- Development Partner
- Trilogy Asset Management
- Total Capital Value
- Development Consultancy, Capital Markets, Strategic Advisory, Occupational Services
Getting creative with The Met Building
Nottingham Trent University has an international reputation for excellence in arts and creative industries education. They had already established the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies at their Nottingham campus. Now, along with Confetti Media and Access Creative College, they had a vision of extending their reach to the capital.
The dream was a new state-of-the-art campus, with a focus on TV production, broadcasting and E-sports. This meant they needed space, lots of it. Not only that, but to attract both UK and overseas students, they needed a location that benefitted from low-cost housing and strong transport links.
The search for shortlist options only got underway in February 2022, but the campus had to be ready for a new intake of students in Sept 2023. In short, NTU wanted the near-impossible.
Timing was tight. Suitable sites were limited. Our client needed investment, and compromise wasn’t an option. This was to be a statement campus; it had to be both practical and awe-inspiring.
Due to NTU’s exacting requirements, we knew finding the right site, and the right partners to go with us on the journey, would be challenging. But Kauffmans loves a challenge.
Having identified the Met Building as the preferred option, on our recommendation, a partnership was formed with LaSalle IM and Trilogy Asset Management to acquire the building.
Over the following six months we carried out all due diligence, finalised the site acquisition and secured planning permission, all ready for Stage 1 works in November 2022.
Our input went much deeper than merely assembling the right team and finding NTU’s next location. Key to the project’s success was NTU signing an Agreement for Lease (AfL) for 40% of the scheme, and the negotiation of a fixed-price build contract. Times are tough in construction right now, so this kind of structuring was necessary to guarantee LaSalle a reduced risk to leasing exposure and confidence in the cost underwrite.
Acting on behalf of LaSalle, we advised on the purchase of the property from LocatED in October 2022 for £56.58M. The transaction was structured so that the acquisition, AfL and fixed-price build contract all happened simultaneously. This ensured the deal could go ahead, even in such an uncertain market.
A planning application has since been submitted to enhance the public realm around the campus and increase the footprint, which is already attracting lots of interest from other educational providers.
Works are now well underway and the finished campus is going to be incredible.
Students will be able to study musical performance, production and business; event management; and new creative technologies – at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The new campus is a hugely valuable freehold asset in a fantastic location. It will give students in London and the South-East access to the very best in creative media education. It will provide significant upskilling opportunities for inner London boroughs. And of course, the new campus will give one of the UK’s fastest growing universities a strong foothold in the capital.