This time last year we were gearing up to launch our #NewYearNewMe campaign, rebranding from Palmer Capital, after 27 years in the industry, to become Fiera Real Estate UK – the UK real estate arm of Fiera Capital, a leading independent global asset management firm.
At the time, we had no idea what the year ahead would hold, but it certainly wasn’t anything we could have predicted. Now, a year on as Fiera Real Estate UK we take a look back at some of our biggest achievements since our rebrand…
Throughout the year, we were able to dispose of almost £200m of assets including the new industrial scheme Hawkers Yard in Ruislip, comprising of seven high-spec units ranging from 2,500 sq ft to 15,000 sq ft, and Halo, the Grade A 116,000 sq ft office development and part of our award winning Finzels Reach scheme, which we forward funded alongside Operating Partner Cubex Land to Tesco Pension Investment for £70m.
Other key disposals include the 13.8 acre site at Crawley, and the 5.3 acre site in Newport Pagnell both funded by the Residential Land Partnership and in partnership with Danescroft Land. Across the two sites, we secured planning for over 260 residential units, before selling the sites to local Housebuilders. Throughout 2020, Fiera Real Estate committed or consented 1,293 new residential units across our various schemes.
We also made plenty of acquisitions throughout the year, including four new sites through our latest opportunity fund, FREOF V. The first of these acquisitions was Kings Court, a 50,000 sq ft office building in the centre of Leeds. Fiera Real Estate, together with Operating Partner Opus North, acquired the site and achieved planning permission to comprehensively redevelop the building to create the finest Grade A office space in the city. Works have already begun on site and are due for completion in Autumn this year.
Another notable acquisition for FREOF V was Heyrod Street in Manchester. Packaged Living and Fiera Real Estate acquired the site 0.7 acre site in January 2020 and submitted planning in July for a purpose-designed BTR scheme delivering c.350 rental homes with a mix of studio, 1, 2 and 3 beds. The site will also benefit from retail/amenity space and a new public square, as well as a car park.
Fiera Real Estate has always put community and sustainability at the heart of what we do, and in April last year, alongside our Operating Partner Angle Property we made available two disused buildings at our Headley Court property to the NHS, providing them with a 300-bed temporary hospital. The buildings are currently being let to the NHS on a short term lease and the first patients were transferred to the site this week. Last May, we hired a dedicated ESG resource to drive our strategy forward, and have made great progress when it comes to sustainability across the business. Our Opportunity Funds have all achieved a Green Star rating, and our new office development in Bristol, targeting BREEAM Outstanding, is set to be one of the greenest office buildings in the UK.
Towards the end of the year, we celebrated Fiera Real Estate ranking in IPE’s Top 150 Real Estate Investment Managers 2020 Index, based on AUM, for which we achieved the 134th ranking.
Overall, it’s been a rather unpredictable but highly successful first year as Fiera Real Estate UK and we look forward to what 2021 brings and creating more high quality sustainable real estate for our clients.