White Rose Court

Woking

BHP’s role at White Rose Court was one of Development Manager, where they were selected by Henderson Global Investors, following a competitive interview process coordinated by Lambert Smith Hampton.

Fundamental to BHP’s pitch was the delivery of Travelodge as a pre-let, an opportunity which many had felt was satisfied on a rival site. BHP, through its market intelligence, was aware of issues surrounding timely delivery of an hotel on a rival site and thus were in a position to actively engage with Travelodge to secure agreement of heads of terms on a subject to planning basis.

BHP had also closely analysed the office market. Such a strategy would have been more profitable, albeit with increased risk. In conjunction with HGI, BHP pursued the hotel option and sought to exchange an agreement to lease with Travelodge in parallel with obtaining detailed planning consent for a compliant scheme.

Subsequent to obtaining consent, the application was subject to a Judicial Review by a neighbouring landowner. The Judicial Review was dropped and the building was re-developed with completion in November 2012.

STRENGTHS

  • Excellent position adjacent to Woking railway station
  • Existing floor plates with central core and wings converted easily to an hotel layout
  • Should an office refurbishment have been pursued, it would have had no direct competition

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Known Travelodge requirement
  • BHP was aware of lack of progress with rival Travelodge site
  • Possibility of delivering pre-let solution for Henderson Global investors

WEAKNESSES

  • Travelodge had terms agreed with a rival developer in the town
  • Massing of development produced greater room count to that of Travelodge’s desired target

Threats

  • Change of use to Hotel was in contravention of the Adopted Local Plan
  • Recent occupation of the premises diminished planning arguments that the building was beyond its economic life