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Fiera Real Estate and Packaged Living secure forward funding agreement with CDL Hospitality Trusts for 352-Unit BTR scheme in Manchester with a GDV of over £73m

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Fiera Real Estate (“FRE UK”) and Packaged Living are pleased to announce the forward funding of the 25 storey, 352-unit build-to-rent (“BTR”) scheme on Heyrod Street, Piccadilly East in Manchester to CDL Hospitality Trusts (“CDLHT”).

The development, which will be known as “The Castings”, has a GDV of over £73m and is due to complete in Q2 2024. The scheme will consist of studios, 1,2 and 3-bedroom apartments and will include ground floor commercial space across 4 units. The Castings will help to meet the pressing need for new homes within Manchester City Centre, enhance the quality of life and provide new jobs for the growing population in the area.

The 0.7-acre site was originally purchased in January 2020 through the Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund V UK (“FREOF V UK”), the fifth and latest fund in FRE UK’s programmatic venture series with CBRE Global Investment Partners (“CBRE GIP”).

As with all Packaged Living schemes, environmental and social values are at the heart of the design.  The development will use sustainable materials to reduce embodied carbon and focus on residents’ wellbeing, active living and cycling, including 1:1 bike storage for apartments. There will be more than 10,000 sq.ft of internal and external amenity space, ranging from a ground floor reception and lounge, to a 21st floor roof terrace with views across Manchester and a co-working space. The development will also deliver a new public square with flexible ground floor commercial spaces fronting onto the public realm.

Heyrod Street is situated within the Piccadilly East neighbourhood, which is nestled between Piccadilly and Ancoats. It is the perfect place for living and culture and is easily accessible being within approximately 500 metres of the Manchester Piccadilly Train Station. Investment into this exciting and well-connected part of the city offers tremendous regeneration and growth potential as the area emerges as one of the most attractive in the whole city region.

Ed Ellerington, Joint Managing Director of Packaged Living, commented “We are delighted to reach this funding milestone and be starting on site only 18 months after buying the site unconditionally without planning.  This shows the underlying strength of the Packaged Living acquisition, development, and investment teams.  The business is continuing to grow within a healthy build to rent sector with over 4,000 homes now in construction or planning across our single and multi-family businesses.”      

Chris Button, Fund Manager at FRE UK, commented “The sale has provided our underlying investors with an attractive risk adjusted return whilst meeting our central investment thesis of creating best in class buildings that are of high quality whilst offering flexible and productive space suitable for the modern-day tenant. We have significant funds available to invest in similar town and city centre sites for speculative BTR and mixed-use developments.”

Mr Vincent Yeo, Chief Executive Officer of CDLHT’s Managers, commented on the investment, “We are pleased to work with Fiera Real Estate and Packaged Living on The Castings as we make our maiden foray into the build-to-rent space. The Build-to-rent market in Manchester is very resilient and growth in rental housing demand is a trend that we see continuing and especially for build-to-rent offerings, which are purpose-built with tenants in mind. Supported by strong demand and supply dynamics and the asset’s superior location, we expect The Castings to achieve steady rental growth over time.”

Packaged Living and FRE UK were advised by Shoosmiths and Knight Frank. CDLHT was advised by Ashurst and CBRE. The contractor for the scheme is Midgard, part of the JRL Group, a multi-disciplinary contractor who has established a reputation for delivering major construction projects throughout the UK.