Moda Living (Moda) and funding partner Apache Capital Partners have submitted a planning application to deliver a 722-home build-to-rent development in Birmingham.
The plans were formed following extensive engagement with key stakeholders including Birmingham City Council, the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust, the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District, Colmore Business Improvement District, the Birmingham Civic Society, local councillors, local businesses and members of the public. Moda also held a two-day public exhibition towards the end of February which was attended by over 175 individuals.
Moda has been working closely with the site’s freeholder Birmingham City Council to transform the 2.6-acre, brownfield site at Great Charles Street into a thriving neighbourhood with new homes, shops, amenities and vastly improved public realm.
If planning is successful, this will be Moda and Apache Capital’s second site under development in the city after ‘The Mercian’ on Broad Street. The construction of the Mercian has been funded by a £118m debt facility secured by Apache Capital from Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank’s first ever UK BTR development loan.
Moda and Apache Capital’s total investment of £445m will deliver 1,200 homes in Birmingham. This will support Birmingham’s ‘Big City Plan’ and account for a massive 24% of the councils target of 5,000 new homes per year in the city.
Continuing to raise the bar for rental accommodation in the city and across the UK, Moda will cater for a wide-ranging demographic including professionals, downsizers, sharers and families. Residents will have access to a host of on-site amenities with mental and physical health and wellbeing at its heart. Facilities include gyms and wellness zones, green spaces, roof terraces, communal lounges, workspace – all included within the rent. Challenging the current rental market, Moda will offer deposit-free, pet friendly renting with secure yet flexible tenancies to give residents a sense of ownership, alongside a 24-hour on-site professionally managed service.
Family-backed Moda, along with funding partner Apache Capital, now has £850m of live schemes under construction across the UK – the first phase of its £2.5bn pipeline of over 7,500 rent-only homes. With further projects across the UK in varying stages of design, planning and development, Moda and Apache Capital are on target to be opening 125 homes a month by the end of 2021.
The JV has the largest privately funded build-to-rent platform in the UK, attracting £400m in capital, with investment from major UK and US institutional investors such as Harrison Street and NFU Mutual.
Tony Brooks, Managing Director at Moda, commented: “Our build-to-rent projects are introducing a completely new way of living and working. We provide more opportunities, amenities, options and facilities than ever before, all built sustainably with an especially strong commitment to their local communities, something that is even more important at difficult times such as this. At Moda we are certain that service, health and wellbeing and support for residents must be at the core of what we do.
Despite the current uncertainty and the challenges facing us all, we remain absolutely committed to Birmingham. We believe this submission puts the interests of the city and people of Birmingham first. The site, currently a car park, will be an exciting new neighbourhood in the prosperity of the city. The local authority has been fantastic in helping to guide us on our journey and we look forward to continuing to invest in the city when the present situation improves.”
Leader of the Council Ian Ward, Birmingham City Council, who also sits on the Strategic Economic Delivery Board of the City, commented: “We are delighted to see Moda progressing with these impressive plans to transform this long vacant plot in the heart of our city – in our Big City Plan. Bringing quality, new housing stock to the city is of paramount importance to the City Council. Our aim is to continue to create a world-class city centre by planning for the next 20 years of transformation and growth – and this project is an important part of that.”
Richard Jackson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Apache Capital Partners, said: “We continue to grow and progress our build-to-rent pipeline with Moda Living, submitting plans for a new neighbourhood on Great Charles Street just weeks after announcing the scheme, which will be our second development in Birmingham.
“Like our recently consented project in Brighton and Hove, Great Charles Street will transform a long neglected brownfield site into a thriving community while also making a serious contribution to the city’s future housing supply.
“With the youngest population of any large city in Europe and massive infrastructure investment planned, Birmingham has strong growth potential that is further underpinned by the presence of top-tier universities and major employers. This all drives demand for high quality rental housing like what we’re delivering with Moda, which will set new benchmarks for what it means to rent.”
Moda and Apache Capital officially opened their flagship 530,000 sq ft, 35-storey, 466 new home neighbourhood, Angel Gardens, in Manchester in October last year, as well as starting on site at New York Square, Leeds, with a further 515 homes. Further construction is also underway at The Lexington in Liverpool, a 34-storey tower on Liverpool Waters that will deliver another 325 homes.