£1.2m refurbishment for iconic Northampton office building

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Refurbishment works are due to start at Riverside House, a 60,000 sq ft iconic five-storey office building located on the Bedford Road in Northampton.

Barwood Capital, the Northampton-based real estate investment and development business, acquired Riverside House off market in December 2016 from LPA receivers for £4.5 million and will spend a further £1.2 million in refurbishing the central service core and five floors.

Since acquiring the building, work has been done with a locally-based architect, PRC Architecture & Planning, to design a full refurbishment of the ‘L’ shape building that is fitting to the original character and modernises it for the current and future tenants.

The works will include a full refurbishment of the core areas including the WC’s, male and female showers on each floor, modern and environmentally friendly LED lighting and extensive refurbishment of the office suites. The manned reception area will be totally refurbished to provide a high end, modern, quality entrance to the multi–occupied building. When finished Riverside House will provide much needed, highly specified, office space in a market where there is limited supply.

Current tenants include Capita, Victim Support, Northamptonshire County Council and the Northampton Renal Dialysis Unit.

Danielle Sheppard, associate investment director, Barwood Capital said: “We see Riverside House as an excellent opportunity to capitalise on the improvements that are happening around the building including the £350m University Campus which is currently being constructed directly opposite. We will provide highly specified office accommodation into a market which is severely lacking stock. Barwood’s roots are in Northampton and we are excited to be involved in a such a prominent local project.”

Jonathan Roe, director, PRC Architecture & Planning, added: “Riverside House is one of the last buildings built in the confident ‘brutalist’ style that was common place from the 1950’s through to the mid 1970’s. We have worked with Barwood to embrace the iconic qualities of Riverside House and develop a scheme which is current as well as being respectful of the building’s strong character. Proposals include embellishing the exterior, rather than trying to cover over it and replacing the corporate vanilla interior with a simple but bold scheme which will breathe new life into the building.”

Riverside House was acquired for Barwood’s 2015 Property fund, a closed ended five year fund that closed in July 2015 with the ability to secure more than £100 million of commercial and residential property assets. In October 2016, Barwood Capital launched its fourth UK regional real estate fund targeting £75 million and a 15% investor IRR. The 2017 Fund will focus on similar on and off market acquisitions to Riverside House both locally and across the UK outside London and is currently open to new investors.

TDB Real Estate and Lambert Smith Hampton are the leasing agents to Riverside House.