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Get Living Debuts As A Spring Wave Of BTR Development Breaks On Birmingham


First the trickle, then the springtime flood.

The UK’s major build-to-rent developers have been circling Birmingham for the last two years. Now the first of a new wave has taken the plunge. 

Get Living, the UK’s pioneer of large-scale build-to-rent neighbourhoods backed by Qatari Diar and clients of Delancey, is to debut in the city with developer/manager Watkin Jones. The pair have agreed a £136M forward funding deal to deliver 551 new homes on a 2.5-acre site at Sherlock Street in Birmingham.

The project will include coworking space, a double-height sky lounge and 47 affordable units.

 “Institutional investment like this makes a real difference for places with a significant shortage of rental homes. We have a strong record in Birmingham and are actively looking at new opportunities across the Midlands,” Watkins Jones Chief Investment Officer Alex Pease said.

Get Living CEO Rick de Blaby said Birmingham, the UK's second-largest city, had long been on the company's wish list, adding "we are very excited to have secured this key city centre location with Watkin Jones for what will be Get Living’s eighth large-scale neighbourhood."

The Markers Yard scheme at Sherlock Street

The move boosts the Get Living development pipeline.

“This transaction for such an attractive scheme takes our secured development pipeline to circa 6,500 homes supporting our ambitious strategy to grow our portfolio to 15,000 homes within the next five years,” de Blaby said.

The neighbourhood will be managed and operated by Get Living on behalf of its investors, with the final phase of the scheme expected to complete in 2025.

The scheme is about a quarter of a mile from the Bull Ring shopping and leisure district and part of the new Rea Valley urban village.

Get Living’s move inaugurates a second springtime wave of BTR investment. Pan-European real estate investment manager MARK made its UK build-to-rent debut in Birmingham in January 2022. Together with HUB, the firm has acquired 2 Snow Hill Plaza with a view to BTR development.

Just before the new year, Mitsubishi Estate’s Europa Capital also launched, forward-funding the 203-unit build-to-rent development at Crown Works on behalf of its value-add fund, Europa Fund VI.

Mitsubishi followed in the wake of Cortland and partner Harrison Street, which bought the 35-storey Broad Street/Ryland Street site promoted by local developer Taylor Grange. 

Meanwhile New York-based investor KKR and partner Apache Capital signed a BTR development deal with Moda Living to unlock the 398-unit New Garden Square in Edgbaston