PLATFORM_, a leading developer and operator of private rented housing, has announced its first development in Scotland and revealed plans to expand the existing scheme in Exeter, which is in a joint venture with global investment manager, Invesco Real Estate.
The company, which already has 580 homes under management in the joint venture in key commuter towns and employment hubs across England, has also acquired a two-acre site in Central Quay, a major brownfield regeneration project right in the heart of Glasgow.
Purchased from Harbert Management Corporation and XLB Property, who secured planning permission for the Central Quay masterplan earlier this month, the acquisition marks PLATFORM_’s entrance into the Scottish rental market. It will be one of Glasgow’s first build-to-rent projects. The city is the UK’s fourth largest after London, Birmingham and Manchester, with a population of over one million. The transaction was brokered by GVA.
PLATFORM_ will deliver over 400 high quality purpose-built rental homes on the site, which will be constructed around a landscaped courtyard and come with a host of on-site amenities such as concierge, residents’ lounge and gym. The apartments will overlook the River Clyde and sit just to the west of the city centre, a stone’s throw away from the International Financial Services District and the iconic SSE Hydro, one of the world’s top five most popular music venues.
Designed by Glasgow-based architects Keppie Design, PLATFORM_’s development will form a crucial part of the Central Quay regeneration, which will offer 300,000 sq. ft. of office space and a 150 room hotel in addition to the apartments. The Glasgow site is the company’s second new-build project after its 350 unit scheme in central Sheffield, which was announced last April.
The acquisition is part of PLATFORM_’s plan to commit to 5,000 units within five years. The company currently has a pipeline of 1,500 units, and is actively seeking further sites across the UK.
In addition to its new site in Glasgow, PLATFORM_ is expanding its Exeter scheme, which sits in the company’s Joint Venture with Invesco Real Estate. Works have commenced on converting the neighboring Linacre House in order to introduce a gym, concierge and residents’ lounge and provide a further 28 apartments.
“Being our first site in Scotland and second new-build project, the Glasgow acquisition is a major milestone for the business, as we look to deliver high quality, accessibly-priced private rented housing in key locations across the country.
“Meanwhile, the expansion of PLATFORM_ Exeter, with the addition of 28 new homes as well as new amenities such as a gym and communal lounge, underlines our commitment to driving additional value for our existing customers.”
Stewart Knight, acquisitions director of PLATFORM_, said:
“Perfectly positioned by the city centre and right in the heart of a major regeneration project, PLATFORM_ Glasgow is well primed to help support the city’s ongoing growth and transformation, and will provide hundreds of much needed quality rental homes. We’re constantly evaluating other opportunities across the UK with a view to adding more sites to our build-to-rent pipeline.”
Paul Broad, GVA Glasgow, said:
“This deal is a landmark moment for not only the Scottish build-to-rent sector, which had previously seen less activity than in England, but also the Glasgow property market, highlighting growing investor confidence and a genuine sense of momentum behind both.”