21 Jun New Acquisition Director to lead the expansion of private rented residential company PLATFORM_
A leading developer and operator of private rented homes has appointed Candy & Candy’s former property director as its new acquisitions chief.
Stewart Knight has moved to Westrock, where he will spearhead the acquisition programme for PLATFORM_, its Build-to-Rent vehicle.
With five buildings completing in 2016, PLATFORM_ is seeking new opportunities in employment hotspots across Britain.
With over 25 years of combined experience in both commercial and residential property, Knight will look to identify suitable sites.
Previously at Candy & Candy, he worked on projects in the UK and abroad, including the brothers’ super-prime central London landmark, One Hyde Park.
During 11 years at BNP Paribas, where he was Head of City Development and Investment, Knight acquired a wide range of commercial and residential developments and helped finance a number of large speculative and pre-let schemes.
The PLATFORM_ business has focused so far exclusively on regional, second-tier markets where there is a distinct lack of quality rental housing. By delivering high-tech, purpose-built apartments boasting a wealth of facilities, PLATFORM_ is raising the bar in each local market it enters.
PLATFORM_’s initial strategy centred on using expanded Permitted Development Rights (PDR) to quickly transform redundant commercial buildings into thriving rental communities.
PLATFORM_ now has five schemes – in Bedford, Bracknell, Crawley, Exeter and Stevenage – totalling near 600 units, all going live throughout the year.
While maintaining its commitment to key commuter towns and employment hubs, PLATFORM_ will now be looking to also acquire sites with new-build potential, with the possibility to phase delivery over several stages.
Matt Willcock, Head of Development at Westrock, said:
“PDR has allowed us to grow a sizeable portfolio quickly but as we look to scale, acquiring sites where we can build from the ground up will be vital. Stewart’s expertise across all aspects of development will be crucial in supporting PLATFORM_’s growth.”
Stewart Knight, Acquisition Director at Westrock, said:
“PLATFORM_ is a great offer that will have broad appeal to workers in towns and cities right across the country. Our focus will be around well-connected employment hubs which, like our initial pipeline, can allow us to deliver high quality residences that are also accessible to the mid-market.”