Roger Lewis returns to UK with £100m placemaking war chest
By David Parsley Fri 15 May 2020
Roger Lewis, the dealer who became synonymous with the growth of the property market in London’s Docklands in the 1990s, is returning to the UK with £100m to invest in new placemaking projects, Property Week can reveal.Roger Lewis
Lewis is making his UK comeback with his new firm Real Estate Land and Development (RLD), which will focus on projects in Docklands and further afield. With the £100m war chest from his “core investment partnership group”, he will target mixed-use schemes in Belfast, Glasgow, London and Manchester.
He said he was keen to enter markets such as Fitzrovia and the northern City fringes, as well as Docklands, M25 satellite towns and other regional cities.
“As with my old RLD Group, RLD Ltd will manage special-purpose vehicles in joint ventures for our private equity partners, who are around the world in the US, the UAE, Israel, Dubai, Australia, the Philippines and China,” he told Property Week.
“I am back now for at least the next decade starting immediately.”
Sky high: Lewis quit the London Docklands market in the early 2000s
In 2018, he hatched a plan to return to the London market with a new brand, Hackertel, after studying the co-working and co-living concepts gaining momentum across Europe.“I came to London in January this year to look at a property in Charlotte Street where I wanted to build the first Hackertel, a cellular hotel and hacking events venue,” said Lewis.He is seeking buildings of 15,000 sq ft to 40,000 sq ft to convert to Hackertels. These could anchor mixed-use schemes of up to 300,000 sq ft and would also include affordable housing and offices, he said.
Lewis, who has lived in Sweden for the past decade, quit the Docklands market after selling up between 2003 and 2005 and has had no property or business interests in the UK since 2012. In the 1990s, he was involved in many of the biggest deals on the Isle of Dogs.
One of his last big schemes was Network Village at Orchard Wharf, which included plans for two data centres of up to 181,000 sq ft and 201,000 sq ft.
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