Carlyle makes UK residential debut

The Carlyle Group has made its first investment in the UK residential market with the £40m purchase of a development site in London’s upmarket Chelsea area.

New York-based alternative asset management firm, The Carlyle Group, has completed its first UK residential investment with a £40 million (€47.9 million; $62.2 million) investment in a development site in Chelsea, London.

Carlyle made the investment in a joint venture with luxury residential developer Athos Group and on behalf of its Carlyle European Real Estate Partners III (CEREPIII) fund.

Carlyle said the investment was made in order to “benefit from continued strong demand due to a shortage of new build luxury apartments in the area”.

The 0.32 acre development site is that of the former Chelsea College of Arts and sits on both Manresa Road and Dovehouse Street. It enjoys planning consent for 58,000 square feet of residential space which will comprise 15 apartments. Development is expected to start in the fourth quarter this year and conclude in 2012.

Robert Hodges, managing director at Carlyle said: “This is Carlyle’s first residential acquisition in the UK and we believe that Manresa Road represents an excellent opportunity to invest in an asset class which, has proven its resilience over the course of the recession and is set to benefit from the continued strong demand for high end accommodation in one of the most sough after locations in London.”

Carlyle has only recently stepped up its investment activity in London. Last month it made its first investment since 2008 when it purchased a six-office strong portfolio for £671 million.

The Carlyle European Real Estate Partners III fund closed on €2.2 billion in June 2008.