HUB and Bridges acquire key site in Edinburgh

HUB and Bridges Fund Management acquire a key site in Leith, Edinburgh with plans to deliver a Build to Rent scheme.

What the Build to Rent scheme in Leith, Edinburgh could look like - HUB | Bridges Fund Management | BTR News
What the Build to Rent scheme in Leith, Edinburgh could look like.

Residential developer – HUB – and sustainable and impact investor – Bridges Fund Management – have acquired a significant 2.6-acre site in Leith, Edinburgh. Located at the former site of Leith Gas Works on Baltic Street in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith, the site is one of the most significant in the area, sitting at a key point in the historic town centre, which was last week named the 4th coolest neighbourhood in the world by TimeOut.

The Leith Gas Works site has existing planning permission for a student residential development, which was secured by vendors Sundial Properties and local architects Michael Laird Associates.

HUB intends to reconfigure the proposal to deliver a residential-led scheme, comprising of Build to Rent apartments with a variety of mixed commercial uses at ground floor level. HUB will work with the Council and local stakeholders to build upon the existing consent, maintaining the established design narrative, whilst also enhancing the proposals to deliver a residential scheme that maximises the site’s potential.

“As a resident of Edinburgh, I am particularly happy that HUB is further investing in our capital city. Leith is full of creativity and innovation, and exemplifies exactly what HUB is looking for in terms of ‘lifestyle’ locations. We look forward to bringing our proven experience in delivering beautifully designed, mixed-use schemes to this fantastic site, building upon the existing proposal to deliver a great new place to live. We are sensitive to the legacy of the historic gasworks and are excited to rejuvenate it into a modern living quarter for Leith.”

Robert Sloss, CEO and Co-founder, HUB

This is the ninth deal on which HUB and Bridges have partnered and builds on their successful track record of delivering well-designed, community-focused residential schemes.

This deal is HUB and Bridges’ second acquisition in Edinburgh, following their recent purchase of the 1.5-acre Beaverhall site in Canonmills, where they are currently developing plans for a mixed-use scheme incorporating Build to Rent homes and affordable, contemporary studio space for the area’s local artistic community.

“We are delighted to complete this second investment in Edinburgh, a city where there is strong demand for more high-quality, sustainable lower-cost homes. Leith is a really exciting area, and we want to create a development that complements this site’s rich heritage and benefits the local community.”

Simon Ringer, Head of Property Funds, Bridges Fund Management

Building on HUB and Bridges’ strategy of delivering homes in well-connected locations, the site is ideally located adjacent to Edinburgh’s new Tramline extension – which is due to open in late 2022. The new route will connect the port in the east through the city and to the airport in the west – so residents at HUB’s scheme will have easy access to the heart of Edinburgh and beyond, whilst enjoying the lifestyle offering of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhood. Just five minutes’ walk from the waterfront, the site offers easy access to numerous independent shops, bars and restaurants – as well as music and arts venues.

The deal continues HUB’s expansion into key cities across the UK, with schemes already underway in Leeds where it acquired two major sites earlier this year, and Digbeth, Birmingham where HUB secured planning for a major canal-side regeneration scheme. HUB and Bridges recently also submitted plans for Latitude Blue, a Build to Rent scheme in Leeds.