Grainger plc has announced today (11 June 2021) that is has acquired The Forge – a stabilised income producing Build to Rent asset comprising 283 rental apartments and a ground floor commercial unit – via a corporate acquisition for c.£57m from Moorfield Real Estate Fund III. Grainger was advised by Womble Bond Dickinson, and Moorfield was advised by Knight Frank and Shoosmiths.
This is Grainger’s first purpose built, Build to Rent investment in its home city of Newcastle, where the company was established in 1912 and remains headquartered. Newcastle meets with Grainger’s investment criteria as a target city in its national Build to Rent and PRS growth strategy.
“We are very pleased to have acquired a stabilised Build to Rent opportunity that meets Grainger’s high standards and is located in our home city of Newcastle. The Forge is proven as a great place to live, and, provides us with immediate rental income, further boosting our ambitious growth plans.”Helen Gordon, Chief Executive, Grainger
Today’s acquisition is in line with Grainger’s stated investment strategy. Stabilised acquisitions, such as today’s transaction, are one of three investment routes that Grainger employs, alongside forward funding developments and direct development.
“We are proud to have delivered a benchmark for quality Build to Rent in Newcastle. The asset has performed well for our investors since its completion in 2019 and the timing of this disposal in line with our investment fund’s value-add strategy. We continue to believe in the structural drivers underpinning the UK residential for rent market, where we have been at the vanguard of its evolution and where we continue to explore new and compelling initiatives.”Marc Gilbard, Chief Executive Officer, Moorfield Group
Completed in 2019, The Forge is the only stabilised Build to Rent asset in Newcastle. In addition to the 283 residential apartments and commercial unit, the scheme offers 3,500 sq ft of high-quality resident amenity space – including an onsite gym, residents lounge and flexible co-working spaces.
The Forge is located on Forth Banks in the city centre. Described as a ‘walker’s paradise’, it has a WalkScore of 91, with a wide range of amenities, local services and public transport links nearby.
“As one of the first purpose-designed and stabilised Build to Rent assets to have traded in the UK market, The Forge represents a landmark transaction for the sector. The weight of both domestic and overseas capital seeking to invest in high-quality product continues to accelerate. This demand is being driven by the sector’s recent strong operational performance, which was achieved despite Covid-19 and the multiple lockdowns that have taken place over the last 12 months.”Nick Pleydell-Bouverie, Head of Residential Capital Markets, Knight Frank