Moda Living and joint venture 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, which is Birmingham’s tallest residential tower under construction. The construction of the Mercian has been funded by a €131.9m (£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 €497.6m (£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.
Tony Brooks, Managing Director at Moda, commented: “While times are tough for everyone at this time, we believe Birmingham’s future beyond this is bright and accordingly we have submitted our plans for the Great Charles Street development - our second site in a city we love. 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 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: “As a long-term investor and operator we are committed to delivering and expanding our build-to-rent pipeline with Moda Living. Despite the wider disruption caused by COVID-19, the sector remains highly attractive thanks to its defensive qualities and strong fundamentals, with a clear mismatch between demand and supply. Looking specifically at Birmingham, the fundamentals remain sound combining a prime site location with one of the youngest populations of any large city in Europe, significant infrastructure investment and a growing number of large employers. Together these will all support structural demand for high-quality rental housing."