HUB and Bridges agree forward funding for UNCLE Leeds

HUB and Bridges agree a forward funding deal for UNCLE Leeds, expanding Realstar’s Build to Rent portfolio.

Podium link at the new UNCLE Leeds scheme - Realstar | HUB | Bridges Fund Management | BTR News
Podium link at the new UNCLE Leeds BTR scheme.

Developer HUB and Bridges Fund Management have agreed a forward funding deal with Canadian real estate investment company Realstar, which owns residential rental brand UNCLE, to deliver a new Build to Rent scheme in Leeds – UNCLE Leeds. The new deal will expand UNCLE’s Build to Rent portfolio outside of London and Manchester, making it the ninth UNCLE building across the UK.

The deal is HUB’s tenth forward funding deal and its third with Realstar, following their partnership on two north London Build to Rent developments – Wembley Link, which is currently under construction, and UNCLE Wembley, which opened in May 2020.

“Realstar shares HUB and Bridges’ commitment to delivering quality homes that are attainable for local residents, and we are delighted to be working with them for the third time. This deal marks a milestone for HUB as our tenth forward funding agreement, and first in a regional city, as part of our strategy to expand to key ‘lifestyle’ cities – places with strong fundamentals and demand for high quality housing. We are excited to begin construction on our first project in Leeds.  

Damien Sharkey, Managing Director, HUB

The UNCLE Leeds scheme will deliver 463 Build to Rent homes across two blocks. Set at the heart of an emerging mixed-use neighbourhood on Whitehall Road, the site is one of two adjoining sites acquired by HUB and Bridges in January 2021. Plans also include a range of amenities that reflect the site’s heritage, making the best of the nearby canal as well as improving pedestrian and cycle routes into the city centre. Sisk has been appointed as main contractor and works on site will start immediately. The scheme is expected to complete in spring 2024.

“HUB and Bridges have already partnered with Realstar to develop more than 500 affordable and lower-cost homes in London. We are delighted to be able to join forces again on this exciting project in Leeds, where there is a strong local demand for high-quality lower-cost housing.”

Simon Ringer, Partner, Bridges Fund Management

UNCLE Leeds will also contribute to a wider development drive that is pulling the city’s centre of gravity to the west. The scheme will be directly adjacent to Wellington Place, Leeds’s largest new office development, as well as several other major new residential schemes.  

In line with HUB and Bridges’ focus on delivering homes in well-connected locations, the site is under ten minutes walk from Leeds railway station, providing residents with easy access to both regional and national routes. The UNCLE Leeds development further highlights that location, amenities and a high-end service are desirable features of Build to Rent properties.

“I launched UNCLE to bring a sense of humanity and dignity to the renting experience. In partnership with HUB and Bridges, Leeds will be a brilliant addition to our collection of high quality residential rental properties around the UK.  The creation of even more Build to Rent homes alongside proven development partners enables us to continue our vision of renting, as it should be.”

Ryan Prince, Vice Chairman of Realstar and Founder of UNCLE