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MARK Makes Its Mark In UK BTR With CBD Buy

The Snow Hill site as it looks today

Pan-European real estate investment manager MARK has made its UK build-to-rent debut in Birmingham.

Together with HUB, the firm has acquired 2 Snow Hill Plaza with a view to BTR development.

The project envisages redevelopment of the site’s unused single-storey brick terrace with new public realm, mixed ground-floor commercial space and on-site residents’ amenities.  

Next door the 1970s block at 1 Snow Hill Plaza was redeveloped as a 224-room Holiday Inn Express in 2013, but the remaining block — intended for redevelopment as a 12-storey office tower — languished when developer Kenmore fell into administration.

Snow Hill Plaza will be HUB’s second project in Birmingham. The firm won consent for a 2,000-unit scheme in Digbeth in November 2020.

The acquisition marks Marcus Meijer’s MARK’s entrance into the UK BTR market, with future acquisitions planned as part of the investment manager’s diversification strategy, which will see the firm grow its residential exposure.

MARK is currently redeveloping the Whiteleys site in Bayswater, London, into a £1B residential-led mixed-use project alongside its joint venture partners. 

MARK also previously created Meyer Homes, a build-to-sell residential platform that acquired 13 sites around Greater London. 

MARK recently partnered with Credit Suisse for the first phase of its DOMA platform, which aims to amass a €1B pan-European rental housing portfolio. 

Marcus Meijer founded Meyer Bergman in 2004 as a retail specialist, rebranding as MARK and diversifying into life sciences and digital real estate opportunities in October 2020.

Meijer is ideally placed to operate across Europe. He speaks six languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch).

“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,” MARK UK Managing Director Lily Lin said.

“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.

The joint venture partners are expected to collaborate on further deals.

CBRE advised HUB and MARK. BNP advised the vendor.