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£220m investment for Sackville Trading Estate, Hove

Brighton & Hove is the latest city to benefit from Britain’s growing rental revolution with a new £220m built-to-rent project being planned by Moda, an owner and operator of private rented housing, and joint venture partner Apache Capital, the private real estate investment management firm.

The JV’s first major scheme in the South of England and one of the largest build-to-rent sites on the UK’s South Coast will create a highly connected and walkable garden community that is integrated into and mirrors the feel of the surrounding area, with a mix of low- and mid-rise buildings wrapped in large areas of landscaped green space and public realm as well as new recreation and employment opportunities. The nine-acre site on Sackville Road, BN3, shares a boundary with Hove station and is a short walk from the city’s famed seafront together with a wealth of existing retail and leisure destinations.

The 9-acre site has been identified as a major opportunity by the City Council and the local neighbourhood forum. LaSalle Investment Management selected Moda and Apache as the specialist delivery partner given their long-term commitment to creating high quality fully managed build to rent communities.

The proposed ‘urban village’ has capacity for up to 860 homes of mixed tenure as well as substantial amount of employment space. Phase one is likely to consist 600 Build to Rent homes and 10,000sqft of co-working space.

The proposed buildings – some benefitting from sea views – will be arranged around a series of naturally landscaped pathways, with a main boulevard leading residents and locals alike to extensive landscaped areas including a large new public square as well as a potential new pedestrian access directly into Hove station. A ‘Moda hub’ will act as a focal point for the local and wider community to use and enjoy.

As with all Moda and Apache Capital JV developments, there will be a range of on-site amenities, with substantial areas of communal space provided, including residents’ lounges, health and wellbeing facilities, BBQ roof terraces, bicycle rental, virtual sports simulators, semi-private gardens, a car club and resident allotments.

Being both a long-term investor and landlord, sustainability and energy efficiency will be a key focus during the design and construction phases, as both are crucial to the future performance of the buildings.

More than a quarter of Brighton and Hove residents currently rent. The city’s vibrant cultural scene, pebble beaches and Victorian piers have made it an increasingly popular place to live attracted by its diversity, boutique shops and many independent restaurants and local venues. Current ONS projections predict population growth of 10 per cent by 2024, driven in part by the booming local creative economy. Moda and Apache Capital will cater for that demand by providing top quality rental housing and lifestyle needs for the long term with exemplar buildings matched with highly efficient round-the-clock service.

To make residents’ lives easier, professional on-site management in the form of a 24-hour concierge will be provided, while the bespoke ‘MyModa’ app will allow customers to do everything from reporting faults to organising events, managing their rental account, letting friends in, ordering a laundry service or booking childcare.

Long-term family-friendly tenancies of up to five years will also be offered, with all residents having access to all the amenities and facilities as Moda transforms renting into a genuine alternative to homeownership.

Moda together with strategic funding partner Apache Capital has a secured £2bn development pipeline of over 6,000 rent-only homes in core UK cities, with schemes underway in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.

Tony Brooks, Managing Director at Moda, said:
“This latest acquisition is a landmark moment for Moda and a crucial step on our journey to become a truly nationwide brand, with projects across England and Scotland. This is our first major scheme to come forward in the South East but first of many as we are committed to growing the portfolio across the region. We have positions on several other substantial sites and we are excited to continue largescale acquisitions in London and the South.  Our ambition is to create rental communities that thread neatly into the fabric of their surroundings across the UK while offering something far beyond what is currently available.

The design and layout, together with the amenity and service offering, will set a new standard for rental living in Brighton & Hove. This new development will be perfect for the changing, evermore flexible lives people lead today, and will allow residents to live, work, shop and play in a community where they feel connected to the whole place not just their individual homes.”

Richard Jackson, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Apache Capital Partners, said:
“This transformational scheme in Brighton & Hove is one of the leading build-to-rent schemes on the South Coast and the 10thsite to be secured by Apache Capital and Moda. This acquisition takes our JV pipeline to over 6,000 apartments, making us one of the largest build-to-rent platforms in the UK.

Brighton & Hove has seen considerable population and economic growth in recent years and this landmark site is a great fit for Apache Capital’s strategy of continuing to focus on intergenerational real estate investments in great, prime locations in UK cities where there is a significant and growing supply/demand imbalance for high quality private rented housing. We’re building great homes and communities that people aspire to live in.”

Andrew Derry, Development Director at LaSalle Investment Management: This is an excellent opportunity for the viable redevelopment of a site that we have been assembling and looking to redevelop for over ten years. We anticipate that this will provide high-quality housing for the local area in this well-connected community where developments of this nature aredesperately needed.  We are delighted to be working with Moda, Apache and Brighton & Hove Borough Council torealisethis exciting regeneration opportunity.”

A previous application across part of the site for a retail-led scheme comprising over 13,000 m2 (c. 140,000 ft2) of retail floorspace and 562 car parking space was granted approval in March 2010, but a drop in the market for retail space made the scheme unviable.

Local people will have the opportunity to comment on early design proposals in September and can contact sackville@naturalpr.biz if they wish to be kept informed.