Apex Housing Group, an innovative airspace property developer, has received a £6.25m investment from BGF to accelerate its growth ambitions in London’s growing rooftop development market, estimated to be worth up to £54bn.
Apex purchases unused ‘airspace’ above residential, commercial and public building rooftops, and converts the space into new, modern homes – generating potential high returns for property owners and helping to alleviate the housing squeeze in London.
Founded in 2008, the company’s extended team of architects and technicians use advanced methods – known as modular construction – to design rooftop properties to exact specifications, which are then built in an offsite factory and installed through high access equipment. New developments have already been completed in St John’s Wood and Camden, with further developments consisting of more than 100 homes currently in progress.
The installation, which typically takes place in a few days, means minimal disruption to neighbours and residents and adds value to the whole building through refurbishment of worn facades and improvements to the property entrance and common areas.
With the London Mayor’s new target to build at least 65,000 new homes a year and the potential to create over 180,000 new homes on London’s rooftops alone, Apex has been at the forefront of discussions with government and industry on the significant contribution airspace development could make to alleviating London’s housing crisis.
Apex will use BGF’s funding to accelerate its construction programme, with plans to develop 300-400 properties during the next three years. Once built, many of the properties are expected to be eligible and available through the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, with property prices typically starting at around £350,000.
Set up by CEO Arshad Bhatti, Apex has built long-standing relationships with local authorities, private property investors and retailers as one of London’s leading property management companies. The group consists of two divisions, Apex Airspace Development (AAD) and Apex Housing Solutions (AHS). The latter is a provider of emergency temporary accommodation to 18 of London’s 33 councils.
BGF, which last month became the first and only investor to have been honoured for innovation in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, in the most active investor to growing business in the UK. Investing across all sectors, it has backed a number of housebuilders and architecture and property services companies including Anstey Horne, SDL Group, Campion Homes and Horbury Group,
Apex CEO Arshad Bhatti said: “Following the success of our existing airspace developments, we’re excited to be able to build on our relationships with local authorities and meet the growing demand for affordable housing. BGF’s investment will enable us to unlock the value in London’s rooftops and we’re looking forward to consolidating our position as market leader in this sector, and growing our temporary accommodation offering to London’s councils.”
BGF investor Rahul Satsangi said: “This as an exciting opportunity to back an ambitious team take advantage of London’s large but untapped airspace development market whilst also growing its critical service offering to London’s local authorities. We’ve been impressed by Apex’s management team, their local and national government relationships and the potential to transform London’s housing market through its innovative offering.”
The deal was led for BGF by Rahul Satsangi, Tom McDonnell and Chris Jones.
Apex was supported through the transaction by Capitalex, a platform that helps UK SMEs to access finance, led by Jessica Zoutsos.
Advisors to the transaction:
BGF: James Cross (Reed Smith), Terry Heatley (Grant Thornton)
Apex Housing Group: Malcolm MacDougall (Charles Russell Speechlys)