L&G and Glenbrook complete Leeds’ largest BTR funding deal

Legal & General and Glenbrook complete Leeds city centre’s largest Build to Rent funding deal to date, to deliver Whitehall Riverside.

Whitehall Riverside Build to Rent development. Legal & General and Glenbrook complete on a funding deal for the scheme | BTR News
Whitehall Riverside Build to Rent development. Legal & General and Glenbrook complete on a funding deal for the scheme.

Legal & General and Glenbrook announce the completion of Leeds city centre’s largest Build to Rent funding deal to date for Whitehall Riverside – a £140m Build to Rent development in Leeds, committing to the delivery of 500 new homes. L&G were advised by Savills and Glenbrook were advised by CBRE. The funding deal follows planning approval for the scheme in December 2022.

The deal marks the third scheme funded by L&G in Leeds and, upon practical completion, will bring the number of new rental homes it has delivered in the city to over 1,000.

“CBRE is delighted to have advised Glenbrook on the funding of Whitehall Riverside, marking the largest ever Build to Rent funding transaction in Leeds. The funding of this development is a landmark moment for the city of Leeds. The new development will provide high quality city centre homes in the heart of Leeds, complemented by retail and public realm which will further animate this important part of the city and connect the successful Wellington Place district with Leeds’ vibrant South Bank.”

Tom Sinclair, Senior Director of Investment Properties, CBRE

Glenbrook is leading the development of the Whitehall Riverside scheme, with completion expected in April 2026. Located on the banks of the river Aire, the scheme will deliver a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom Build to Rent apartments, ground floor retail and 60 parking spaces. Resident amenities include a concierge, lobby, gym, podium gardens and terraces.

“To have secured the largest funding deal Leeds has seen, against such challenging economic conditions, demonstrates the strength of the investment proposition we have created here at Whitehall Riverside. This will be a best-in-class residential scheme on one of the most prominent sites and locations in the city.

“Working with our trusted partners, Glenbrook is at the forefront of the UK’s Build to Rent drive, delivering exceptional schemes which meet residents’ evolving needs. L&G’s continued commitment to both Leeds and to Whitehall Riverside is a further demonstration of their belief in the quality of the scheme, the city’s residential market and acknowledges the clear demand for well-managed, highly sustainable, purpose-built accommodation.”

Ian Sherry, Director, Glenbrook

The impact of the Whitehall Riverside scheme – in terms of the environment and local community – has been prioritised in design proposals. With ESG at its core, the development has been designed to achieve BREEAM “Excellent” and HQM (Home Quality Mark) Level 4, as well as an ambition to be operationally net zero carbon by 2030.

Public realm and landscaping proposals, which includes a new riverside green and over 100 new trees aim to deliver a significant bio-diversity net gain and improve environmental resilience – seeking to enhance the community for both existing and prospective residents.

“Today’s [14 April 2023] announcement showcases our commitment to deliver positive social outcomes across the UK. By investing in the growth of residential areas, such as the Whitehall Riverside development in Leeds, we are supporting a truly vibrant city that hosts key economic and employment sectors such as healthcare, life sciences, digital technologies, advanced manufacturing, as well as financial and professional services. This investment has a powerful intergenerational aspect – an example of how we are using pension savings to create productive assets for future generations.”

Andrew Kail, CEO, Legal & General Retirement Institutional

The Whitehall Riverside scheme is situated within a new residential and business district in Leeds city centre. As part of the wider masterplan, the Build to Rent scheme will act as a catalyst for the creation of a new mixed-use riverside destination – and aims to cement its position as the leading place to live and work in the city.

Legal & General and Glenbrook have carefully considered the location of the development, to ensure residents benefit from local amenities, diverse and growing employment opportunities as well as its cultural destinations, and strong transport links including Leeds Central station which is within a five-minute walk.

“The Build to Rent sector has continued to see substantial and sustained growth in recent years, as investors continue to be attracted by burgeoning demand for high quality rental property in the UK. We’re pleased the asset class has proven resilient through recent macro-economic pressures – this latest scheme reaffirms our confidence in the market, as well as the growth prospects of city centres like Leeds.

“The Whitehall Riverside development has been designed with a focus on lifestyle and resident satisfaction, aiming to ensure quality, operational efficiency, and long-term environmental sustainability that meet the needs and aspirations of residents. As a major investor in UK real estate, we remain committed to levelling up the UK by ensuring communities across the country have adequate access to employment, infrastructure and housing, seeking to make policy objectives a reality.”

Adam Burney, Head of Annuity BTR, Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets

This new investment deal follows Legal & General’s acquisition of the Mustard Wharf Build to Rent site in 2017 and its £57m investment in Tower Works in 2021 – both of which sit within Legal & General Investment Management’s (LGIM) Build to Rent Fund.