Developers choose Hodge Bank for London project

Hodge Bank, the independent, privately-owned real estate specialist has concluded its first deal with London-based property investment and development company St Thomas’ Church LLP.

The project will see the belfry tower at St Thomas’ Church in Southwark converted into an apartment over four floors and the main building becoming a restaurant.

The garret adjoining the bell tower in St Thomas’ houses Britain’s oldest operating theatre. Now a museum, surgical procedures were performed there from 1822 until 1862, when the operating theatre was transferred to a new site in Lambeth.

The operating theatre and viewing platforms remained blocked off and untouched until 1956 when the roof space was re-opened and its contents discovered.

Built in 1703, the church was until recently the head office of property development company Cathedral Group, before a merger with Development Securities to become U and I Group plc.

Brent Arthur, who negotiated the deal for Hodge Bank, said that all the building’s historic features would be retained, with the museum and the apartment served by a new lift.

“The restaurant is due to open on 22nd November. Owned by Lord Alpha Investments Ltd, it will be the first Duddell-branded restaurant in the UK. The original in Hong Kong’s Duddell Street has two Michelin stars and is also renowned for its art gallery,” said Brent.

“The belfry tower apartment should be finished by October. When all the work is complete, it will value the building in the region of £7m and the conversion will secure this fascinating landmark for many years to come.”

Barry Bennett, one of the principals at St Thomas’ Church LLP, added: “We are delighted with the funding offered by Hodge Bank. It will enable us to further improve and develop the iconic St Thomas’ Church.

“It is the first deal that our respective companies have concluded together and hopefully represents the first of many to come.”

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