Raising the bar for renters

A new build-to-rent development is under construction in Leeds, which is set to bring a host of hotel-style amenities to over 500 homes across two high-rise blocks.

In Leeds city centre, construction has begun on 515 homes spread over two 16-storey blocks, designed exclusively for rent.

Created by Moda Living – which develops, owns and operates its own projects – the rental homes will be complemented by a new public courtyard between the buildings, and rooftop terraces overlooking the city centre, as well as two commercial units on the ground floor.

Named New York Square after the nearby New York Road, as well as being ‘a nod to its synergy with performing arts and culture,’ the development will offer renters a range of on-site amenities for their health and wellbeing, with everything included in their rent.

Alongside Moda, sister company Caddick Construction is to undertake the works, with DLG Architects designing the properties.

The development forms a key part of the new £300m ‘SOYO’ neighbourhood being delivered by Caddick Developments, another sister company of Moda Living.

In addition to the 515 Moda rental homes, SOYO will include a new hotel, bars, restaurants, further residential, a multi-storey car park, as well as high quality public realm and open green spaces.

Built for renters
Build-to-rent, known as multifamily housing in the US, is particularly popular in that region of the world, where it has existed for decades. According to Moda however, the idea has only just started to take off in the UK, with cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham all seeing lots of build to rent activity recently.

New York Square will reportedly be one of the first large scale scheme built in this manner in Leeds, and is being developed by Moda to be operated for the long term.

Some of the benefits of renting that Moda introduces are a whole host of on-site amenities, providing a sense of hotel-living in its developments, and giving renters a range of reasons not to have to even leave the building.

Among the onsite amenities at New York Square – as in Moda’s typical offerings across all its sites – are shared lounges, flexible workspaces, a cycle hub, and health and wellbeing facilities.

Alongside these, other services include a 24-hour hotel-style concierge, and round the clock management of the building. The bespoke ‘MyModa’ app adds to this level of care, enabling residents to report maintenance issues, communicate with the concierge, book events, and acting as the apartment key.

The homes will include a mix of studio, one two and three-bedroom apartments. As part of these options, a two bed sharer layout will be on offer, providing a solution for sharers in two equally sized bedrooms, with ensuites on either side of a shared living space – allowing for greater privacy, reduced noise, and no arguing over who gets the biggest room.

Better together
Together with Apache Capital Partners, Moda has a pipeline of over 7,500 rental homes in eight cities across England and Scotland. Other Moda projects under construction or completed include its flagship Angel Gardens in Manchester, The Mercian in Birmingham (the city’s tallest residential tower), and The Lexington in Liverpool – a 35-storey, 325 home tower.

Caddick construction is also building the Angel Gardens project, which at 35 storeys will provide 466 homes to the centre of the city, close to where Amazon is opening its first UK HQ outside London.

Other Caddick Construction projects include the £33m Hudson Quarter development in York, creating three luxury residential blocks totalling 122,000 ft² and 45,000 ft² of office space.

Caddick Construction, Caddick Developments and Moda living are all part of the Yorkshire-based, family run Caddick Group, with reported a record turnover of over £200m this year.

This Group recently agreed to help Leeds City Council create a 100,000 ft² creative complex at the site of the old Polestar Petty works to host media and TV companies attracted by Channel 4’s new nearby headquarters.

Johnny Caddick, managing director at Moda Living and director of the group commented: “This is a real group-wide effort. and demonstrates Caddick’s cross-sector strengths in both property development and construction as well as underlining our ability to deliver institutional-grade assets.

“New York Square marks the first phase of SOYO, which will regenerate a car park into a new and exciting city centre neighbourhood. Moda’s aim is to raise the bar for rental in the city, creating high quality homes and strengthening the appeal of city centre living for all.”