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LaSalle confirms £100M build to rent purchase in Birmingham

LONDON (April 29, 2016) – LaSalle has confirmed that it has acquired a long leasehold interest in 603 build to rent apartments at Nikal’s Exchange Square scheme in Birmingham for over £100 million on behalf of a client, following planning approval for the first phase of the development.

The apartments are predominantly a mix of one and two bedroom units with a modest selection of studios and are spread across 3 buildings of 9, 16 and 27 storeys. A fourth building with be retained by Nikal for private sale, along with the retail element of the scheme. Work is anticipated to begin on site in summer 2016 with completion of the first block due in 2018 and the final by the end of 2019.

Designed by twice Sterling Prize-shortlisted Stephenson Studio, Exchange Square will deliver a total of 987 apartments across 4 buildings, 186 car parking spaces and over 27,500 square feet of retail and leisure space. It will also include a 5,000 square feet members’ club that will contain a number of services for residents including a concierge and access to a private lounge, which will open onto an extensive landscaped rooftop garden covering over 20,000 square feet for the exclusive use of residents.

Exchange Square is the second residential phase of Nikal’s £600 million regeneration of Masshouse, which has delivered 354 residential units across two buildings to date.

Exchange Square is located on the east side of Birmingham’s central business district close to both New Street and Moor Street railway stations, as well as the proposed HS2 city centre terminus.

Richard Debney, Regional Director, LaSalle Investment Management, said: “Exchange Square will be the first build to rent scheme of its size in Birmingham, which has enjoyed a very strong residential lettings market of late with a shortage of high quality apartments. We believe the urban village concept at Exchange Square will not only create a critical mass of apartments with attractive community facilities, but bring a unique proposition to the Birmingham market that we are confident will prove popular with young professionals seeking high quality city centre accommodation.”

Andrew Stanford, UK residential fund manager, LaSalle Investment Management, said: “Exchange Square is a significant acquisition that reinforces our strong belief in the long-term future of the build to rent sector for institutional investors. It also illustrates our desire to enter appropriate schemes at an early stage, so that we can tailor a high quality end product for our future customers. We will continue to target opportunities of this type in cities, such as Birmingham, that our model indicates have strong demand fundamentals.”

Nick Payne, Managing Director at Nikal, said: “We are delighted to be working with such an established and well respected investment manager. Now that planning consent has been secured, we are in a position to bring forward the first phase of what we are sure will be a transformational development for the area and an exemplar scheme for Birmingham’s residential market. With its prime location and on-site ancillary services, we are anticipating significant rental interest from a wide range of professionals, underpinned by the city’s growing financial services sector.”

Nikal has an existing outline planning consent in place for the delivery of up to 1,000 residential units on the site, with a detailed planning application for a second phase of development, including additional residential buildings and a new public square, due to be determined by Birmingham City Council in May.

LaSalle was advised by CBRE; Savills has been appointed as property and lettings manager.