Town centre project is the ‘steel deal’

Keith McDougall, High Street Residential; Christian Garcia, GRIP REIT; Nicada Drayton, Grainger PLC; Matthew Warner, Hoare Lea, Sam Newbould Arcadis and Rob Reid, all United Living United Living.

Keith McDougall, High Street Residential; Christian Garcia, GRIP REIT; Nicada Drayton, Grainger PLC; Matthew Warner, Hoare Lea, Sam Newbould Arcadis and Rob Reid, all United Living United Living.


With 15,000 metres of steel – weighing 767 tonnes – in place, Grainger’s £30 million, seven storey Milton Keynes development project is rapidly taking shape.


The columns, beams, bracings and ledger angles erected in Silbury Boulevard form the framework of a structure that will provide the town with 139 high quality, one and two bedroomed apartments for the private rental sector (PRS).


Due for completion in 2019, the homes will be owned by GRIP, a REIT owned by APG and Grainger plc*, and managed by Grainger, the UK’s largest residential landlord, a market leader with over 100 years’ experience in PRS.


The initiative is being delivered by High Street Residential – one of The High Street Group of Companies – which has seven similar UK-wide projects, worth £329 million and including a further 1,590 apartments – either under construction or with planning approval.


United Living, one of the UK’s leading providers of new build homes and refurbishments is leading on the construction of the scheme.


All 139 apartments are being designed specifically for rent with the customers’ needs in mind. Each unit will be finished to a high specification, featuring a stylish open plan kitchen and lounge area.  The larger apartments will have a bedroom on either side of the living space, each with en-suite facilities.  Additional services will include: superfast broadband, onsite concierge and amenity space.


“We are pleased with the progress of our first development in Milton Keynes and look forward to bringing great quality homes combined with our expertise and commitment to great service to the city,” said Helen Gordon, CEO, Grainger plc.


Gary Forrest, Chairman of The High Street Group of Companies, said:  “Already 19% of the UK’s population rents homes and this figure is set to grow as young professionals, making their way in new careers, seek contemporary urban homes with flexibility to follow the jobs market.


“Working with our partners and Milton Keynes Council, we plan to create a community with a modern village feel that will cater particularly for the needs of these aspiring young people – helping to attract and retain skills and investment in the community.”


Richard Baker, Midlands Director for United Living, said: “This is a milestone development for United Living as it is the first project we’ve undertaken for the private rental sector.  The team has made fantastic progress and we’re pleased to see these much-needed new homes are taking shape for the benefit of the local community.


“During this construction phase we’re keen to leverage as much added value as possible and have already created 6 new jobs on site with the expectation that around 150 workers will contribute toward the project during its two-year life cycle.”


With its headquarters in Stockbridge House, Newcastle, The High Street Group of Companies was established by successful entrepreneur Gary Forrest in 2006.  It has grown to become a leading financial and property group employing over 100 people in activities including large scale property development and construction, hospitality and leisure.


The full list of High Street Residential PRS schemes – with the first three now under construction – is:


- Silbury Boulevard, Milton Keynes – a £30 million investment creating a seven storey facility containing 139 apartments.  Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord has unconditionally agreed to forward fund and acquire this development


- Newcastle’s tallest building, the 27 storey Hadrian’s Tower in Rutherford Street – a 162 unit, £46 million scheme


- Middlewood Plaza  in Salford – a £26 million, nine storey, 127 unit development


- The Charter, in the Smithfield area of Birmingham – a £150m project, creating in excess of 700 apartments over 32 storeys


- The Kent Street Baths site in Birmingham – a £19 million project to create 98 apartments over eight floors


- Westminster Works, Alcester Street, Digbeth, Birmingham – a £50 million, seven storey development of 220 units


- Holloway Head in Birmingham – a £120 million initiative comprising 487 apartments over 17 storeys


- Trafford, Manchester – a £22 million, ten storey, 154 unit development


- Cheshire Junction, Warrington City Centre – a £46 million eight storey, 362 unit project


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