Build to Rent platform Goodstone Living has acquired its first Scottish project in Edinburgh’s most upcoming district. Goodstone were advised by JLL and Eversheds Sutherland LLP on the transaction. The 2.5-acre Ocean Drive site located to the north of Edinburgh city centre on the waterfront in Leith is in Edinburgh’s most upcoming district. The site already has a planning consent and Goodstone Living plans to commence construction in summer 2022.
The new Build to Rent scheme will deliver 338 homes across four mid-rise buildings of between ten and 14 storeys. Each building will go above and beyond building regulations to include two stairwells, maximising fire safety.
Goodstone Living plans to transform the vacant Ocean Drive site into a thriving rental community with over 16,000 sq ft of amenity space. Residents will have access to a gym, coworking space, a 24 hour on-site management team and communal rooftops to provide both waterfront and skyline views across Edinburgh. The scheme will sit directly on Albert Docks with unparalleled and uninterrupted views over the Firth of Forth to the north and Edinburgh’s historic city centre to the south.
Goodstone Living is the Build to Rent platform set up by Macquarie Asset Management with British real estate industry veterans Darryl Flay and Martin Bellinger. Underpinning the company’s ESG commitments, the waterside Ocean Drive site development will target a 50% reduction in carbon compared to current building regulations – with 25% of the site given over to affordable housing.
“With Edinburgh’s world-class financial district and university nearby, a vibrant restaurant scene, start-up community and an edgy mix of arts and culture, Leith is recognised not only as one of Britain’s most attractive rental neighbourhoods but one of the world’s.
“Edinburgh is one of our core markets because of its young, highly educated and growing population, pointing to a deep pool of future talent which is currently undersupplied with quality housing. Our strategy will continue to identify opportunities such as this where an undersupply of quality housing matches with key criteria for growth and further regeneration.
“As with our plans for Digbeth in Birmingham, our residential placemaking strategy is to offer a better quality of living while building healthy homes that are accessible to local residents. We will do this by using smarter design and creating facilities that respond to the way people live, work, play and relax in a post-pandemic world.”Martin Bellinger, Principal, Goodstone Living
Leith’s scenic waterside and creative hub known as ‘The Shore’ is a few minutes’ walk away from the Ocean Drive site. It offers a range of local amenities including Michelin star restaurants, stylish bars and food precinct, whilst the adjacent Ocean Terminal shopping centre provides a diverse mix of local dining, leisure and shopping options for residents.
The scheme will be boosted by the city’s tramline extension to Ocean Terminal – which is scheduled for completion in 2023. The extension will run directly past the development and enable a ten minute commute into Edinburgh’s financial district, which is already within walking distance.
Edinburgh is highly attractive for Build to Rent developers because of its strong fundamentals, such as an outsized population of post-graduates and young professionals, and a higher proportion of renters (26%) than most of the UK. A 2020 report from JLL revealed that 25-44 year olds account for 35% of Edinburgh’s population – which is higher than any European city, while 51% of Edinburgh’s workforce has a tertiary education – compared to the global average of 34%. According to a report from Knight Frank and UCAS, Edinburgh boasts a student retention rate of 53%, ranking it higher than any UK city apart from London.
Leith was also rated number four in the travel and lifestyle magazine Timeout’s 2021 list of ‘coolest neighbourhoods in the world’. This is up 20 places from 2018’s list.