BTR News Build to Rent (BTR)

Harrison Street and Cortland form new JV to develop Build to Rent homes in Watford

Investment management firm, Harrison Street and multifamily real estate investment, development and management company, Cortland has announced plans to develop new Build to Rent homes in Watford.

Harrison Street and Cortland have announced today (24 July) their plans to develop a 367-unit Build to Rent development in Watford, with backing from Homes England and AIG Asset Management. The initial phase of the project – known as Cortland Cassiobury – is scheduled to complete by July 2021, with the remaining units to be delivered by March 2023.  

“We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with Cortland to offer the only Class A institutionally owned and managed property in Watford Borough upon its completion. We look forward to leveraging Cortland’s exceptional UK property development and residential management experience to build the portfolio by identifying and investing in markets backed by strong demographics.”

Robert Mathias, Partner and Head of International Business, Harrison Street

Cortland Cassiobury will be the first development in a newly formed joint venture between Harrison Street and Cortland, which has secured a pipeline of Build to Rent projects across the UK and Ireland representing a GDV of approximately £750m. The portfolio will be focused on high quality assets with market leading amenities, communal spaces and service options. 

Ascot
Ascot

“We’re delighted to be supporting the first development of Harrison Street and Cortland’s joint venture. Helping to bring a company with the Build to Rent credentials of Cortland to the UK is exactly the kind of market diversifying deal Homes England was created to support.”

Gordon More, Chief Investment Officer, Homes England

Cortland Cassiobury comprises of five buildings ranging from four to twenty-four stories and will include 367 Build to Rent homes – of which 119 affordable housing units have been pre-sold to a registered housing provider. The scheme will have a mix of one, two- and three-bedroom units.

Amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness centre, media room, business centre, a residents’ lounge with private dining area, an outdoor patio with grilling stations and fireplaces, a dog park and a reception with concierge. There will also be 5,150 sq ft of retail space, 314 parking spaces and 50 storage units. 

Ascot street view
Ascot street view

“Watford is a highly attractive market, home to a growing, affluent renter population near numerous large employers, but faces a significant undersupply in high-quality rental housing options. 

Robert Mathias, Partner and Head of International Business, Harrison Street

The Build to Rent development is in the borough of Watford, which is currently benefiting from a major regeneration project. The scheme is near the Croxley and Watford Business Parks, which is home to major employers. Residents at the Cortland Cassiobury scheme can reach Central London in 15 minutes and is close to several public transportation options – including Kings Cross St Pancras station and Heathrow and Luton airports.

“We are very grateful to have a like-minded partner in Harrison Street that is focused on delivering exceptional rental housing through a superior customer experience that puts the resident first.  

“With our acquisition last year of market-leading Build to Rent operator, LIV, we have made an intentional investment in our operating capabilities to ensure we can deliver on our customer experience promise to our residents.  

“We are proud to be part of the broader Watford community, which is already such a great place to live with so many built-in amenities like Cassiobury Park that sits at our doorstep.”

Paul Wrights, President – Europe, Cortland

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