HUB launches low-carbon living venture, HubCap

HUB launches low-carbon urban living venture, HubCap, with trio of retrofit developments in London and Edinburgh.

HUB's Thistle Street development. The developer has launched a low-carbon urban living venture, HubCap to deliver co-living and aparthotels. Image credit: Tom Manley | BTR News
HUB's Thistle Street development. The developer has launched a low-carbon urban living venture, HubCap to deliver co-living and aparthotels. Image credit: Tom Manley.

Residential developer HUB announces the launch of HubCap, a wholly owned subsidiary of HUB, set up to deliver low-carbon urban living projects in key UK cities. The new venture will initially focus on delivering co-living and aparthotels, whilst keeping carbon budgets low by prioritising the re-use of existing buildings, as well as optimising operational carbon savings.

Many HubCap schemes will be retrofits of buildings that are currently offices or other commercial uses, bringing vibrancy to corners of popular neighbourhoods which need reinvigorating.

“We recognise that uses of some city centre buildings are going to change and our Build to Rent experience has shown the desire of people to live in vibrant urban environments. With HubCap, we will deliver much-needed low-carbon, short-stay urban living solutions – reusing and retrofitting where possible. Finding more sustainable approaches to development is an important growth area, with retrofitting at its heart, and we’re excited to be part of it.”

Robert Sloss, CEO of HUB and HubCap

Alongside the launch, HubCap has acquired three sites: two in Edinburgh, one on a former whiskey warehouse in Leith and one on a printing press in New Town, and one site in London’s Zone 1 located on Ludgate Hill, which was previously a bank. Combined, the total gross development value is circa £75m.

Continuing HUB’s approach of championing diverse and emerging architects, HubCap will place huge importance on design. For its Edinburgh projects, the developer has appointed Glasgow-based O’Donnell Brown who was also the winner of HUB’s Archiboo design competition in 2020. The purpose-driven practise Holland Harvey has been appointed on the central London project.

“HubCap is a hugely exciting prospect. We are primarily targeting sustainable conversions of urban commercial buildings that otherwise have a very limited, useful future life. Weak and changing occupational demand in certain sectors provides an opportunity for us to bring buildings back to life by repurposing them into alternative uses in greater demand.

“To assist in the success of our projects, we are partnering with best-in-class operators with high quality, design-led and sustainable operating solutions. We are seeing strong demand from investors in the kinds of low-carbon options we are pursuing with HupCap within the thriving short-stay living space.”

Miles Keeley, who returned to HUB after three years at BlackRock to lead HubCap

HubCap is actively seeking to acquire more sites in strong urban locations across the main UK cities. The business has strong growth plans for 2023 with an active pipeline of projects in central London totalling £155m. Other UK cities that HubCap is exploring are Brighton, Bath, Cambridge, Glasgow, Manchester, Oxford and York.