McCabe’s Scarborough agrees international joint venture for £600 million residential schemes in Manchester

The McCabe family’s Scarborough Group International (“Scarborough”), the UK and international real estate investor and developer, has secured funding for two major residential developments on the edge of Manchester from two publicly-listed Far Eastern property groups. The gross development value for the two schemes is around £600 million.

Scarborough has entered into a joint venture with Top Spring International Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-listed real estate developer in the People’s Republic of China and Metro Holdings Limited, a Singapore-listed property development and investment group to develop Scarborough’s sites at phase II of Milliners Wharf, a canal side development in New Islington, Manchester, and Middlewood Locks, a 23.6 acre site at the western gateway of Manchester and centred around the former Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal.

Top Spring and Metro are making their first investments in the UK real estate market and will each hold 25% of the joint venture, with Scarborough retaining the 50% balance.

Phase II of Milliners Wharf, which has a gross development value of £30 million, branded “the Hat Box” will, on completion, provide 144, studio, one, two and three-bedroom luxury apartments in an eight storey building, on the Ashton Canal, having easy access to Manchester’s city centre. Construction is to commence in summer 2014 with completion expected during 2016.

Phase I of the Milliners Wharf scheme, acquired by Scarborough in 2010 and comprising 261 apartments is almost fully sold at prices between £100,000 and £250,000.

Middlewood Locks, which has a gross development value of £575 million, is planned to provide a vibrant new neighbourhood with up to 2,000 new homes along with mixed commercial uses including offices, shops, delis, restaurants, a convenience store, nursery and gym.

There will be a mix of apartments and houses available to help cater for a wide mix of occupiers from first time buyers, families to ‘empty nesters’. The homes will be designed in a way to make the most of the landscaping incorporating private and public spaces. Part of the landscaping strategy is to connect the green spaces with the canal, incorporate a woodland theme and an adventure playground to accommodate the new community.

The site already has an outline planning consent for 2.6 million sq ft of residential-led, mixed-use development, but an additional 2.6 acre section of the site acquired recently is expected to increase the gross development area, once outline planning consent has also been granted for this additional section. Over the course of 2014, Scarborough will be bringing forward its development plans to accommodate a start on site of phase 1, during the first half of 2015.

Kevin McCabe, Chairman of Scarborough, said:

“I have known and worked with the Directors and management teams of Top Spring and Metro for many years through Scarborough’s extensive activities in China, and have the utmost respect for them.

“They are as excited as we are to be developing high-quality, new homes in one of the UK’s most vibrant, cosmopolitan and progressive regions. There is very strong demand for housing in the central Manchester area and, as in many parts of the UK, a shortage of supply, so we are confident that both our projects will be well received”.

Mr. Chun Hong Wong, Chairman and CEO of Top Spring, commented:

“We have worked extensively with Scarborough in the People’s Republic of China, over the last ten years, and are pleased to be continuing our partnership with them in the UK, along with Metro, to deliver two high-quality residential developments in an area of the UK where there is a shortage of good-quality housing supply”.

Lt-Gen (Retd) Winston Choo Wee Leong, Chairman of Metro Holdings, added:

“These Manchester projects are Metro’s first foray into the UK real estate market, and with the Manchester residential market being particularly dynamic, we are confident that this investment will be a huge success.

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with the Scarborough Group, a long-term trusted partner of both Top Spring and Metro, and a respected and experienced developer”.