Grainger acquires a 231-home forward fund build to rent scheme with Cubex & Fiera Real Estate in Bristol

Grainger Plc
Willmott Dixon Construction Limited has been appointed as the contractor.

LONDON: Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord with 8,941 operational rental homes and a further 8,950 in its pipeline, has acquired a 231-home forward fund build to rent development in Bristol for c.£63.1m, with Cubex Land as development manager, backed by Fiera Real Estate.

Leading Bristol developer Cubex purchased the site in 2016 on behalf of Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund IV (UK), a programmatic joint venture by Fiera Real Estate that is exclusive to clients of CBRE Global Investment Partners (CBRE GIP).

Bristol is a key target city for Grainger and, in line with Grainger’s cluster strategy, this new investment generates further economies of scale in conjunction with Grainger’s nearby asset, Hawkins & George.

Hawkins & George, part of Cubex and Fiera Real Estate’s Finzels Reach Scheme, was Bristol’s first build-to-rent development launched in the city. The purpose-built accommodation includes 194 apartments across two buildings. Across both schemes, Grainger will have 425 rental homes in the city.

Construction is expected to commence in January 2021, with construction completion targeted for H2 2023.

Grainger expects this investment to generate a gross yield on cost of c.6% once stabilised. This is a highly attractive investment opportunity which meets Grainger’s strict investment criteria and will further boost Grainger’s investments in Bristol, a key target city.

Helen Gordon, Chief Executive of Grainger, said: “This acquisition in Bristol is an exciting addition to our growing portfolio of high-quality rental homes in Bristol, a city which meets our strict investment criteria. Demand for high-quality rental homes in Bristol continues to grow, and this scheme will add greater scale to our city cluster, improving our ability to drive efficiencies while delivering a great service to our customers.”

Peter Walford, Director of Cubex, said: “We are delighted to have closed our second high profile funding deal with Grainger in Bristol to provide additional new homes to our award winning Finzels Reach development.  This next phase will also incorporate 66 new affordable homes alongside Halo, our 116,000 sq ft office building which we substantially pre-let to Osborne Clarke and forward funded with Tesco Pension Trust earlier this year.”

Steven Wright, Director of Fiera Real Estate, said: “The sale represents the completion of the second phase of Finzels Reach where Cubex and Fiera Real Estate have developed (or realised) over £400 million worth of assets. This has converted a derelict under-utilised part of central Bristol into a thriving hub delivering a vibrant 24/7 community in over 400,000 sq ft of commercial space (including two BREEAM “Outstanding” offices buildings), 400+ apartments and a new hotel. We look forward to securing similar new opportunities on behalf of the Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund V, which is active and currently investing.”

Knight Frank acted for Fiera Real Estate and Cubex Land.

Fiera Real Estate’s UK division is an investment management firm, which focuses on both creating and actively managing core assets for investors. The UK business was founded in 1992 (as Palmer Capital) and directly manages over £760 million Assets Under Management (AUM).

Its vertically integrated business model has been achieved by backing ten regional property companies in the UK. This has created a pan UK platform of partnerships that allows investors to access some of the best deal flow and entrepreneurial managers within the centralised framework provided by Fiera Real Estate.

Fiera Real Estate is wholly owned by Fiera Capital Corporation, a leading multi-product investment-management firm with more than USD125 billion of AUM. Fiera Capital provides Fiera Real Estate with access to global investment market intelligence, which enhances its ability to innovate within a framework that emphasizes risk assessment and mitigation.

Cubex is a dynamic commercial and residential property developer, funder and investor operating from offices in Bristol and London. Cubex has acquired, funded and developed a wide range of properties across the South West of England and South Wales including offices, residential, retail, industrial, distribution, hotels, leisure, motor trade and healthcare. Its portfolio is diverse not only in terms of market sector but also by geography, size, value and complexity. Cubex is the developer behind award-winning Finzels Reach in Bristol, one of the South West’s most significant mixed-use developments.

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