Zorin lends £70m for Oxford mixed-use scheme

Zorin Finance has completed a £70m loan to The Botley Development Company (BDC), the largest deal the specialist lender has closed since its launch in 2011.

With the facility, BDC — a 50/50 JV between Doric and Mace Group — will be able to exit its development loan, which funded the construction of a mixed-use scheme in Botley, Oxford.

It comprises 261 PBSA and 20 BTR units, a Premier Inn hotel, 15 retail units — including Tesco, Co-op and Iceland — and office and community space. 

The interest-only loan, arranged by JLL’s debt and structured finance team, takes Zorin’s lending to date to over £1bn.

The company has now funded a total of 199 loans with zero capital losses. 

John Fraser, director at BDC, said: “We are pleased to have secured funding from Zorin, which will help us stabilise this important development of a vibrant new centre in Oxford, following the shock of Covid-19.” 

John described how it managed to turn an old, failing mall into a hub, which includes much-needed BTR homes and student accommodation that the community could benefit from. 

The company’s transaction with BDC is part of its expansion strategy into the investment loan market, where it earmarks various sectors, including development exit, stabilised residential and commercial, PRS, light industrial and distribution, hotels, student and multi-tenanted estates/portfolios.

Loans will be available for up to five years, with max LTVs ranging from 60% to 75%, depending on asset class, with ticket sizes between £2m-150m. 

“It’s been a pleasure working on this deal with BDC, Mace and their adviser JLL,” added Robert Foley, head of investment loans at Zorin Finance. 

“We see this transaction as an important step in establishing Zorin in the investment loan market and look forward to supporting BDC in the future.”


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