New Garden Square set to be transformed with Build-to-Rent Scheme

The Build-to-Rent pioneer, Moda, has joined forces with KKR to deliver a new market leading UK-wide best-in-class rental platform starting at New Garden Square, Edgbaston on the Calthorpe Estate.

Moda Living, UK BtR pioneer, and KKR, a leading global investment firm acquired the two-acre site from Calthorpe Estates, having worked closely with Court Collaboration, a Birmingham-based residential developer with a proven track record for delivery that originally secured the New Garden Square site in July 2020. Moda and Court worked together to bring forward the development, design a market-leading scheme and procure the contractor ensuring the opportunity moved from concept to reality.

Moda’s New Garden Square neighbourhood will deliver new homes, gardens and amenities to this landmark site, located less than a mile from Birmingham city centre. Set around a new landscaped garden square, the development sits adjacent to Edgbaston Village, a vibrant retail, leisure and lifestyle district, and the new Metro tram stop.

As with other Moda Living developments, New Garden Square will prioritise strong sustainability credentials, and is targeting GRESB and 3-star Fitwel accreditation. Earlier this year, Moda’s McEwan building in Edinburgh became Europe’s first project to achieve the highest Fitwel rating of three stars.

Moda’s new ‘Select’ model will be highly efficient with condensed amenity, while continuing to embody Moda’s core brand principles of outstanding customer service, integrated technology and health and wellbeing combined to deliver the optimum rental experience and a better quality of life.

Moda Living and KKR collaborated to launch a new rental platform with an initial 5,000 homes across Leeds, Liverpool, London, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham and the Midlands. Moda secured funding from Ares Management Corporation to launch a new single family housing platform in the UK, with plans to deliver 5,000 homes by 2025 with a combined GDV of £1bn. New Garden Square, will deliver a £120m, 392-home neighbourhood and is their third project in Birmingham taking its current pipeline in the city to in excess of 1,600 homes.

Building on its pipeline of prime city centre BtR schemes, Moda and KKR’s new platform will develop and operate best-in-class, tech enabled neighbourhoods with a focus on highly efficient schemes with centralised amenity provision and flexible spaces in a low- to mid-rise built form. The new ‘Select’ model targets city centre fringe and affluent districts and is complementary to Moda’s existing co-living, family homes and prime rental platforms with investors including Ares, Harrison St, NFU and Apache Capital.

This latest platform announcement takes Moda’s overall pipeline to more than 18,400 units with a GDV of around £6 billion, making it the UK’s largest privately owned developer operator of build-to-rent assets. This marks the first investment KKR has done in UK BTR market on a platform basis.

Ralph Minott, Masterplanning and Development Director at Calthorpe Estates said: ‘’We are delighted to have facilitated a new partnership on the Calthorpe Estate for Moda Living and KKR to launch their new venture. It has been a collaborative approach and made possible after Calthorpe Estates secured Outline Masterplan Planning Approval in March 2018 and Court Collaboration achieved Reserved Matters Approval in 2020 for a 392-apartment scheme.

“New Garden Square remains an important part of Calthorpe Estates heritage, since its first regeneration into offices in the 1950’s, from historic Edgbaston residences. For Calthorpe this partnership heralds a ‘second regeneration’ of this site and one which will play its part within the vibrant Edgbaston Village outer city centre district. A significant new garden square and unrivalled natural place for wellbeing is at its heart – well connected to the whole of Birmingham via the new Edgbaston Village Metro terminus directly in front of New Garden Square.”

Tony Brooks, Managing Director at Moda Living, said: “We are thrilled to be launching a new living platform with KKR, who share our vision of creating and managing state-of-the-art rental communities to cater to all demographics. They are a fantastic global strategic partner, and with our joint ambition and complementary skill sets we are in a strong position to roll out our strategy across the UK.

“New Garden Square is the perfect launch project for the new platform. Set in beautiful leafy Edgbaston and alongside Edgbaston Village, we will transform the area into a thriving new urban community, with best-in-class homes, public spaces and amenities creating an outstanding location to live, work and play.”

Rosa Brand, Director at KKR commented: “Build to rent residential remains a priority sector for us in Europe, and we are very excited to create a unique, best in class portfolio with our strategic partners Moda Living, building on Moda’s market-leading track record in delivering and operating institutional grade schemes across the UK.”

Alex Neale, MD of Court Collaboration, added: “New Garden Square is a truly exciting scheme for our City and we’re delighted to see the development now progressing. Both companies have so much love for Birmingham; a city well and truly on the up and we are thrilled Moda have bought into our ambition here. This is true collaboration in action and we are delighted that Moda and KKR have chosen Birmingham and Edgbaston in particular as their launchpad for their UK BTR business.”

KKR’s investment in Moda Living was made via its second dedicated European real estate fund, KKR Real Estate Partners Europe II (REPE II). In July 2021, KKR announced the final closing of KKR Real Estate Partners Europe REPE II, a US$2.2 billion fund dedicated to value add and opportunistic real estate investments in Western Europe. As of June 30, 2021 REPE II had already committed more than US$700 million of capital principally across logistics and residential investment opportunities.

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