Europa Capital has entered the Birmingham market with the acquisition of Crown Works, a new 203-apartment build-to-rent (BTR) development adjacent to the city’s central business district.
Europa Capital has made the acquisition, through a forward funding agreement, on behalf of its value-add fund, Europa Fund VI.
The seven storey Crown Works building has been designed to a high specification, comprising a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments across c. 138,000 sq ft of space, with c. 5,900 sq. ft of flexible amenity, including a gym, co-working space, private dining and concierge services. There is also a private residents’ roof terrace giving panoramic views of Birmingham’s skyline as well as private roof terraces for three duplex penthouse apartments, in addition to two ground floor retail units totalling 3,700 sq ft. The apartments, which are expected to achieve an EPC rating of B, will also benefit from access to green energy through the installation of c. 2,400 sq ft of roof top solar PV panels. The commercial units are expected to receive a BREEAM Excellent rating.
Situated on Hanley Street, just 400 metres from Birmingham Snow Hill train station, Crown Works is in an excellent position, within walking distance of Birmingham’s growing CBD and entertainment district, which has seen the recent development of Grade A offices, homes and improved public spaces.
Construction is expected to start imminently, with practical completion of the development due to be reached in Q1 2024.
The acquisition is in line with Europa Capital’s strategy to grow its vertically integrated build-to-rent platform in the UK following acquisitions in London, Manchester and Sheffield, increasing the total number of apartments to over 1,600.
Hugo Black, Partner at Europa Capital, commented: “The lack of supply of high quality rental accommodation remains a UK wide problem, with ongoing buy-to-let mortgage redemptions continuing to exceed build to rent completions. This is our first foray into the Birmingham market, which, as the UK’s second largest city and with a burgeoning young population – thanks largely to being home to one of the country’s leading universities – is an attractive location for this type of residential product. A number of blue-chip companies have also chosen Birmingham as their regional hub, reflecting the role the city has to play in the levelling up agenda.”
Jason Oram, Partner & Fund Manager at Europa Capital, added: “Against the current economic backdrop and rising inflation, build-to-rent offers institutional investors a good hedge, whilst being more resilient to structural change than other asset classes. This latest investment follows close on the heels of our recent acquisition of a 161 apartment BTR development on Bendix Street in Manchester, as momentum continues to build behind our growing UK BTR platform.”