Cadillac & Stanhope in JV for £700m Oxford science scheme

CGI of Oxford North.

Canada’s Cadillac Fairview and UK developer Stanhope have agreed a 50:50 joint venture partnership with Thomas White Oxford, the development company of St John’s College, to deliver Oxford North a £700 million global innovation district to be developed in the UK university city.

The partners have formed a new company, Oxford North Ventures,  whch will be 50% owned by Thomas White Oxford and 50% by Stanhope and Cadillac Fairview,which is the real estate arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Stanhope has also been appointed as development manager. The board of Oxford North Ventures will consist of Bernard Taylor, chairman and William Donger, chief executive officer of Thomas White Oxford, Jenny Hammarlund, managing director, head of Europe, of Cadillac Fairview; and David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope.

The joint venture will invest almost £700 million to deliver 939,000 sq ft (87,300 sq m) of laboratory and workspace, along with amenities, infrastructure and social value over the next few years.

Oxford City Council granted outline consent for the 64-acre masterplan in March 2021, as well as detailed consent for the first phase of new laboratories and workspace, which will total 170,000sq ft (15,793 sq m). Enabling infrastructure works started in August 2021.

New affordable housing will be included in the mix

Oxford North will include 480 much-needed new homes, of which a minimum of 35% will be affordable. Thomas White Oxford has already entered into an agreement with Hill Group to deliver circa 318 new homes, the first public park and new streets on Canalside, to the south of the A40.

Bernard Taylor, chairman, Thomas White Oxford Ltd, said: “Following two years of careful work, we have selected our JV partners. I am thrilled to have Cadillac Fairview as our partner because of their long-established record of involvement in high quality property development and, as the property arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, they have a very long-term investment perspective whose philosophy is well aligned with that of Thomas White Oxford and our 100% shareholder, St John’s College, Oxford.

“Demand for lab and science translation space in Oxford is at record levels with restricted supply. Conversations with pioneering science and technology companies seeking such space have already started,” said Thomas White Oxford’s CEO William Donger.

The project is the second joint venture between Cadillac Fairview and Stanhope, which follows Cadillac Fairview’s acquisition of White City Place in 2021, which Stanhope continues to asset manage.