Mark has entered the UK build-to-rent market and the pan-European real estate investment manager, formerly known as Meyer Bergman, has partnered with residential developer Hub to acquire a site in Birmingham’s Snowhill district.
The existing building at 2 Snow Hill Plaza, which has been vacant for over a decade, will be redeveloped into high-quality homes for rent, while the ground floor will have commercial space as well as amenities for residents to share.
Snow Hill is Hub’s second project in Birmingham after the 2,000 homes Digbeth mixed-use scheme. The developer, which has already completed BTR deals worth £784 million, has a strategy to expand into the UK’s key “lifestyle cities” and has projects underway in London, Leeds, Maidenhead and Edinburgh.
“We are delighted to have acquired another site in Birmingham, a city with strong growth fundamentals and a forward-thinking City Council,” said Tom Starkey, acquisitions manager, Hub. “Snow Hill is a particularly exciting part of the city given its proximity to workplace and amenities and the continuing demand for high quality housing. We plan to work closely with Birmingham City Council and local stakeholders to bring forward thoughtful regeneration here.”
The acquisition is Mark’s debut into the UK BTR market and is part of the investment manager’s diversification strategy, which will see the group grow its exposure to the residential sector.
“Residential for rent forms a key part of our multi-platform strategy as we look to grow our presence in asset classes that are underpinned by long-term structural growth drivers and have demonstrated resilience during the pandemic,” said Lily Lin, managing director UK & Ireland, Mark. “This acquisition will be the first of many as we look to create a wider UK build-to-rent platform that complements our existing residential strategies.”
Other projects include Doma and Whiteleys
Mark recently partnered with Credit Suisse for the first phase of its Doma platform, which aims to create a €1 billion pan-European rental housing portfolio. The company is currently redeveloping the former Whiteleys department store into a £1 billion residential-led mixed-use project alongside its joint venture partners. Mark also previously created Meyer Homes, a build-to-sell residential platform which acquired 13 sites around Greater London.
This is the first partnership between Mark and Hub, but the two companies said they are already exploring other opportunities to work together in the future.
According to CBRE, 2021 was a record year for build-to-rent in the UK, with investors committing £4.1 billion to the sector, £500 million more than in 2020.