Legal & General invests £200m for Central Quay BTR

Legal & General brings total Real Assets investment in Cardiff to £1bn as regeneration continues with £200m Central Quay BTR scheme in Wales.

Brains Brewery site in Central Quay, Cardiff. Legal & General has invested a further £200m to deliver 715 additional Build to Rent homes | BTR News
Brains Brewery site in Central Quay, Cardiff. Legal & General has invested a further £200m to deliver 715 additional Build to Rent homes.

Legal & General (L&G) announces today that it has invested a further £200m to deliver a new Build to Rent development at the former Brains Brewery site in Central Quay, Cardiff, located adjacent to Cardiff train station. The development will be delivered in partnership with Watkin Jones and the landowner, Rightacres. Legal & General was advised by Knight Frank and Macfarlanes on the Central Quay Build to Rent transaction.

The £200m Build to Rent development at Central Quay will provide residents with a unique offer of city centre living on the waterfront. The scheme will deliver 715 homes – a mix of  studio one, two and three bedroom apartments. Amenities include a concierge, lobby, gym, gardens and terraces, as well as c. 19,500 sq ft of leisure and retail space. 

Cardiff is one of the UK’s leading places to live, work and invest. Legal & General’s Central Square investment has been a driver in Cardiff becoming one of the fastest growing employment hubs in the UK. Once the scheme is complete it will create 13,000 new jobs, and the provision of the additional 715 Build to Rent apartments will facilitate this trajectory of employment growth.

“Investing long-term capital in what society needs has never been more important. For the past decade, Legal & General has brought partnership models, expertise and capital to stimulate mixed-use redevelopment – long before ‘levelling up’ was coined. 

“Our £1bn Real Assets investment in Cardiff reflects what patient investment can achieve. Alongside partners Rightacres Property, Cardiff Council and the Welsh government, we have transformed Cardiff Central Square, not only changing people’s first impressions of the city, but re-shaping Cardiff for the long-term. We’re proud to progress this world-class regeneration, setting the city apart as one of the UK’s leading places to live, work and invest.”

Tom Roberts, Head of Strategic Investment, LGIM Real Assets

Today’s announcement forms part of Legal & General’s regeneration project – and marks the asset manager and global investor as the city’s largest investor. Legal & General has committed £1bn in Real Assets to deliver the regeneration project, which includes:

  • £285m – 1,033 Build to Rent apartments at Central Quay (715 apartments) and Central Square (318 apartments), Legal & General’s first Build to Rent scheme in the city which opens in March 2023 and forms part of the Central Square regeneration.
  • £140m – The Interchange, 120,000 sq ft of Grade A office space at Central Square.
  • £117m – Government Hub delivering 270,000 sq ft of space for over 4,000 civil servants.
  • £45m – Parkgate Hotel, 170 bedrooms located next to the Principality Stadium, in partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union.
  • £200m in financing to support Wales & Borders franchise to deliver a new cutting-edge train fleet.

Central Quay is Legal & General’s third transaction in the last 18 months with Watkin Jones, which brings both customer insight and expertise in delivering sustainable homes in key regeneration locations.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Legal & General on another development. The projects we are delivering together will create excellent homes, act as a catalyst for regeneration of the surrounding areas and help improve people’s lives. We look forward to bringing our expertise to what is a hugely exciting regeneration masterplan.”

Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer, Watkin Jones 

Legal & General is committed to helping drive regional economic growth – to improve lives and deliver social outcomes. It is using long-dated UK pension money to invest in UK cities and towns, creating jobs, high-quality and varied housing and better infrastructure. This boosts productivity and delivers vibrant communities in which people can live longer, healthier and happier lives.  

“Residential rental demand has risen strongly in recent years due to increased activity in city centres across the UK, but supply is still constrained, leading to fast rental growth. Recognising the need to provide more high-quality rental homes, Legal & General now has 20 sites in 12 cities nationwide, with more than 2,500 apartments already occupied and over 6,000 more under construction.

“Since the start of 2021, Legal & General has committed £900m to seven new Build to Rent projects across the UK, completing on two transactions in London, and committed to further developments in Southampton, Birmingham, Glasgow and Hove. This investment in Cardiff provides an opportunity to build on the role Legal & General has played in the urban regeneration of the city centre, developing much needed homes that will meet the employment growth that has been created. The development will deliver a new offering for young professionals to live, work and play in a river fronting environment.”

Mike Powell, Head of Transactions, BTR, at LGIM Real Assets