Edinburgh’s city centre is to benefit from a £215 million development that will deliver more than 500 new homes for rent in the Fountainbridge area, as well as the purchase of nearly 50 existing private rented homes.
Moda Living, with joint venture partner Apache Capital, bought the Springside site “off-market” from property group Grosvenor with the aim of constructing a “build-to-rent village” in the heart of the city.
The scheme, Scotland’s biggest in the build-to-rent arena, is Moda and Apache’s second in Scotland, having bought the former Strathclyde police HQ in Glasgow last October.
A Moda spokesman said: “The deal secures the residential component in the Fountainbridge regeneration, helping revitalise central Edinburgh.”
The site already comprises 250 completed homes, including housing for students and the elderly.
Designed by CDA architects, the new housing will sit alongside 25,000 square feet of new-build commercial space consisting of shops, bars and restaurants. The project will also include a gym, communal lounges and roof terraces, as well as communal gardens and a new public square.
Moda aims to be on site by end of year, with first phase completed by end of 2019 and final completion targeted for the end of 2022.
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.”
Burness Paull and KPMG acted on behalf of Grosvenor, with Brodies and Rettie & Co acting for Moda Living and Apache Capital.
Rettie & Co director Matthew Benson, head of development services at the property group, said: “Our growing specialism within build-to-rent means we have been able to fully assess across all areas of valuation and risk management, and believe that this show of condience by one of the UK’s biggest market players will be a huge boost for the economy.
“The Fountainbridge deal highlights our ability to provide research on market fundamentals and guide clients who seek on-the-ground insight across sales, investment and residential asset management.”
Gerry More, the Scottish Government’s private rented sector (PRS) “champion”, described the Springside plans as a “substantial vote of confidence” in the Edinburgh property market.
He added: “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.”