Developer and manager of residential for rent homes – Watkin Jones – has exchanged contracts for the sale of its first fully co-living scheme on Gladstone Road in Exeter. The scheme is being sold on a forward funding basis to Ropemaker Properties Limited – the real estate arm of BP’s pension fund – for circa £16.9m. Legal counsel for Watkin Jones was provided by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.
“We are delighted to be working with Ropemaker Properties to deliver our first co-living scheme in Exeter, which is an ambitious and growing city. Sustainable and affordable high-quality homes with active communities in desirable locations are proving really attractive for young professionals, so co-living adds an exciting opportunity as part of our wider Build to Rent offering.Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer, Watkin Jones
The scheme will include 133 studio homes and will place an emphasis on social interaction and community living with residents enjoying a shared kitchen, lounges, library, cinema room, gym, courtyard garden and dining area, as well as co-working space.
The scheme is an ideal rental option for young professionals with quick walking and bus access to the city centre, as well as the independent shops of Magdalen Road. The scheme is also close to the city’s hospitals and received backing from the local NHS ambulance trust for its potential to offer homes for NHS staff. The development is being delivered by building contractor DNA Construction, and is due to complete in August 2022. Information for people interested in becoming residents will be released shortly.
“Institutional demand for residential for rent continues to reach record highs, and we are experiencing huge interest in our pipeline. The underlying market drivers remain very strong with investors actively seeking assets that offer highly defensible, long term returns while meeting their ESG objectives and adding value to local communities.”Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer, Watkin Jones