HUB and Bridges agree funding deal for UNCLE Leeds BTR

HUB and Bridges agree a forward funding deal with Realstar to deliver Phase two of the UNCLE Leeds Build to Rent scheme in Leeds.

Phase two of the UNCLE Leeds Build to Rent scheme. HUB and Bridges agree forward funding deal with Realstar to deliver the scheme | BTR News
Phase two of the UNCLE Leeds Build to Rent scheme. HUB and Bridges agree forward funding deal with Realstar to deliver the scheme.

Developer HUB and specialist sustainable and impact investor, Bridges Fund Management (Bridges), sign a £108m forward funding deal with Canadian real estate investment company Realstar, which owns residential rental brand UNCLE. The funding deal will deliver Phase two of the UNCLE Leeds Build to Rent scheme – a significant residential-led regeneration scheme in Leeds. HUB was advised by Knight Frank and Addleshaw Goddard on the deal.

Designed by local architects Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher (CJCT), Phase two of UNCLE Leeds will deliver 488 Build to Rent homes with extensive new public realm – taking advantage of the nearby canal as well as enhancing pedestrian and bicycle access to the city centre. RG Group has been appointed as main contractor. Works on site have begun and is expected to complete in 2025.

“We are thrilled to have secured forward funding for our second development in Leeds, continuing our longstanding partnership with Realstar. This deal is testament to the quality of the scheme, and to HUB’s strong track record. Work has already started on site, and we look forward to delivering a scheme that will continue the transformation of this exciting area of Leeds, providing attainable homes for local people, as well as fantastic new public realm.

“The Build to Rent sector is continuing to prove its resilience in turbulent times, and we are feeling very optimistic about 2023, with further deals coming forward over the next few months.” 

Damien Sharkey, Managing Director, HUB

The development will also contribute to a wider development drive that is pulling the city’s centre to the west. UNCLE Leeds Phase one – adjacent to the Phase two site – received forward funding in 2022. Together, the scheme will deliver a total of 951 Build to Rent homes.

“Our latest forward-funding partnership with Realstar is further evidence of the strong institutional demand for high-quality, highly sustainable residential assets. UNCLE Leeds Phase two will perfectly complement our existing scheme in Leeds, addressing the clear local demand for quality lower-cost housing and creating attractive public realm that will benefit the whole community.”

Simon Ringer, Partner, and Head of Property Funds, Bridges Fund Management

The UNCLE Leeds site is in a growing mixed-use neighbourhood on Whitehall Road – a ten-minute walk from Leeds railway station, which provides access to both regional and national train routes. The development neighbours the city’s largest new office development, Wellington Place, which is attracting major employers such as HMRC, Arup and Savills.

“In the last ten years we have continued to see demand for high quality rentals increase. UNCLE is committed to creating neighbourhoods that benefit our residents and the local areas around them. Our newest UNCLE Leeds does just that, bringing beautiful design, innovative common areas and great resident managers to an exciting area of Leeds.”

Ryan Prince, Vice Chairman of Realstar and Founder, UNCLE

This is HUB’s 11th forward funding deal and its fourth with Bridges and Realstar, following the first Leeds deal as well as two north London Build to Rent developments – Wembley Link, which is currently under construction following a funding deal in 2020, and UNCLE Wembley which opened in May 2020. In total, the partnership between HUB, Bridges and Realstar has now completed £370m of forward funding deals, with 1446 homes either completed or under construction.