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Now Global Funds Have Their Eye On Birmingham BTR

Outside Birmingham New Street station

Mitsubishi Estate’s Europa Capital has debuted in Birmingham BTR as international investors eye-up opportunities for 2022.

Europa has forward-funded the 203-unit build-to-rent development at Crown Works on behalf of its value-add fund, Europa Fund VI.

The seven-storey Crown Works building close to Snow Hill station won planning permission in October 2020 after a false start that saw plans for a smaller 148-unit scheme rejected due to concerns about noise.

The 138K SF scheme at Henley Street, Lower Loveday Street and Summer Lane was promoted by Simon Linford and Preet Gandhi’s CZCW Ltd.

Construction is expected to start imminently, with practical completion of the development due to be reached in the first quarter of 2024. 

“This is our first foray into the Birmingham market, which, as the UK’s second-largest city and with a burgeoning young population — thanks largely to being home to one of the country’s leading universities — is an attractive location for this type of residential product,” Europa Capital partner Hugo Black said.

The acquisition is in line with Europa Capital’s strategy to grow its vertically integrated build-to-rent platform in the UK following acquisitions in London, Manchester and Sheffield. It now has 1,600 apartments in the development pipeline.

Europa joins a battle with a growing list of North American investors seeking a share in Birmingham’s BTR sector.

In the last two weeks Atlanta-based developer and property manager Cortland and New York-based investor KKR have taken the plunge.

Cortland and partner Harrison Street have 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 have signed a BTR development deal with Moda Living to unlock the 398-unit New Garden Square in Edgbaston

“Against the current economic backdrop and rising inflation, build-to-rent offers institutional investors a good hedge, whilst being more resilient to structural change than other asset classes,” Europa Capital partner Jason Oram said.