The Stage, EC2

Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London EC2
Strategic Advisory

Strategic Advisory

Development Consultancy

Development Consultancy

Capital Markets

Capital Markets

Head Lease Restructuring

Head Lease Restructuring

Making history in more ways than one 

The year is 1597 and Romeo and Juliet, perhaps the world’s most famous play, by the world’s most famous playwright, premieres at The Curtain Theatre. Fast-forward 400 years; the historic building has been buried under centuries of development, and its exact location long forgotten. Until now. 

The brief 

Over the last 20 years, Kauffmans has helped secure the acquisition of 14 properties across a 2.75-acre site, between Shoreditch’s Curtain Road and Plough Yard. We were asked to take this mix of poor quality, derelict industrial buildings and warehouses, and find a way of turning them into something spectacular.  

The challenge 

As plans for development were framed, it became clear that the old theatre (or what remained of it) was most likely buried somewhere on the site. Exciting. Daunting. And a huge responsibility.

Prior to giving planning consent, the London Borough of Hackney insisted that the location of the theatre was found and its condition established. Working with the team at the Museum of London Archaeology, several pits were dug and the external perimeter of the archaeological remains was plotted.  

What started out as merely a complex development proposition, quickly became an intricate labour of love. 

The ‘Rights of Light’ and ‘Sunlight and Daylight’ constraints were a minefield. There were complex vacant possession issues. And the added archaeological challenge made everything ten times more complicated. 

The process 

On our recommendation, a best-in-class professional team, including Pringle Brandon Drew Architects, now known as Perkins & Will (who had previously designed the award-winning Mary Rose exhibition centre in Portsmouth), was appointed. 

Once the Borough were satisfied that the development included provisions for preserving the theatre, planning consent was finally granted in 2014. 

We were then asked to introduce a development partner who could bring the scheme forward. This was on the basis of a new 250-year lease with a retained gearing in favour of the Freeholder (subject to minimum rents and overage payments).

Following a targeted marketing campaign, the Headlease was taken up as a joint venture between Cain International, Galliard Homes, Vanke UK and McCourt – for a total of £165M.  

The result 

With 350,000 sq ft of first class commercial accommodation, 412 high-end private residences and 1 acre of public space, The Stage will transform South Shoreditch. 

Our careful strategic structuring has allowed the family that owned the land to retain the Freehold interest and income strip, without affecting the property’s value. And most importantly, a proportion of the profits will fund the estimated £20M visitor centre, which will preserve the Curtain Theatre (London Borough of Hackney’s first scheduled ancient monument) for generations to come.  

Get in touch

We believe there’s no such thing as a puzzle that can’t be solved, or a resolution that can’t be agreed. Whatever real estate help you need; we’d love to hear from you.

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