Edinburgh build to rent village gets go ahead following £215m agreement

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A new joint venture will see 525 new homes developed as part of a £215m Edinburgh build to rent scheme

Developer Moda Living and investment manager Apache Capital will deliver hundreds of new homes as an Edinburgh build to rent scheme is given the green light.

The multimillion pound deal will see houses built in the city centre and will also include the purchase of 46 existing private rented homes alongside the construction of 525 new properties.

The deal, which saw property firm Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, sell off the residential element of its major landholdings in the Fountainbridge area for £215m, has been described as one of the largest housing deals in Scotland since the financial crisis.

Build to rent homes

The properties will be built under the Moda brand and designed by architects CDA. The housing will also sit alongside 25,000 sq ft of new build commercial space. Residents will have access to 15,000 sq ft of communal space, including a gym communal lounges, BBQ area and roof terraces with unique views of Edinburgh Castle, as well as fully managed communal gardens.

The site expects to be completed by the end of 2022, with the first phase achieved by the end of 2019.

Currently, there are already 250 completed homes on the site. These properties are a mixture of homes for sale, affordable housing, serviced apartments, student residents and private rented homes.

The Scottish Government’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) Champion Gerry More said: “The announcement of this major investment in the build-to-rent proposal at Fountainbridge is a substantial vote of confidence in both the Edinburgh property market and the Scottish Government’s plans to create flexibility, choice and affordability in the wider housing sector.

“This kind of purpose-built, high-quality and professionally-managed PRS development can rapidly increase the provision of much-needed new build housing, while at the same time positively transforming the experience of rented accommodation in Scotland for the long-term.”

Joint venture brings benefits

The joint venture between Moda and Apache is not the first project the two firms have been involved in. Last October, they purchased the former Strathclyde Police headquarters in Glasgow. The £115m redevelopment will deliver the city’s first homes purpose-built for rent. The joint venture is notable, with the pipeline standing at more than £1.1bn in city centre locations across the UK.

Tony Brooks, managing director of Moda Living, said: “Our ambition has always been to build a truly nationwide brand, and with two schemes now underway in Scotland, renters across the length and breadth of the UK will soon be able to benefit from our amenity-rich, service-driven offer.

“As an investor, developer and operator we are here for the long-term and aim to knit ourselves into the city’s fabric taking on the mantle and ethos of Grosvenor. We are looking forward to working with the local authority and community groups to help meet a pressing need for rental accommodation in Scotland’s capital city.”

Kevin Stewart, minister for local government and housing, said: “This government has made clear its commitment to boosting housing supply across all tenures and we recognise the significant contribution that can be made by a high-quality purpose-built private rented sector.

“We have taken a range of actions to encourage developments like this to come to fruition and look forward to the benefits of this investment being realised on the ground.”

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