Moda, New York Square secures 3* Fitwel certification

Moda, New York Square, Leeds’ Build to Rent neighbourhood becomes third Moda development to earn its place as one of Europe’s healthiest buildings

Moda, New York Square Build to Rent development, which has achieved a three-star Fitwel certification | BTR News
Moda, New York Square Build to Rent development, which has achieved a three-star Fitwel certification.

Moda Living secures a three-star Fitwel certification for its new Leeds Build to Rent neighbourhood – Moda, New York Square. The achievement means the developer operator now has the highest number of top-level Fitwel certifications for residential buildings in the world following Moda, The McEwan in Edinburgh in June 2021 and Birmingham’s Moda, The Mercian in April 2022. It is also the first in Leeds to achieve this certification.

“We are proud to partner with and recognise Moda’s three-star Fitwel rating – the highest rating within the Fitwel Standard – for its New York Square building in Leeds.

“This distinction demonstrates Moda’s commitment to prioritising the health and wellbeing of its rental community occupants by implementing Fitwel’s evidence-based design and operational strategies. By being one of the first residential buildings in Europe to receive such a rating, Moda is leading by example.”

Joanna Frank, President and CEO of the Center for Active Design, which operates the Fitwel healthy building certification program

The Fitwel certification was secured by a team of representatives from Moda Living, investors Harrison Street and Apache Capital, and consultancy DLC Europe. The team worked throughout the development of Moda, The New York Square to ensure every element of the neighbourhood embodied their philosophy of health and wellbeing – from its good walking routes due to its central location to optimal conditions throughout both its shared and private living spaces.

“The three-star Fitwel certification and ESG initiatives shows the continuing focus and importance on health and wellbeing to residents in Build to Rent properties. These credentials will become unique selling points for future customers in their selection of where to live.”

David Lawrence, Owner, DLC Europe
Moda, New York Square Build to Rent scheme's roof terrace | BTR News
Moda, New York Square Build to Rent scheme’s roof terrace.

Moda, New York Square opened its doors to residents in May 2022, with more than half of its phase one building pre-let. With health and wellbeing at its core, the scheme offers 515 state-of-the art Build to Rent homes – a mix of spacious studios to three-bedroom homes – spanning two 16-storey buildings. The neighbourhood boasts health-promoting design and operational strategies to maximise residents’ abilities to live their healthiest and happiest lives with Moda. With work/life balance a key component of wellbeing, the scheme allows residents to work flexibly with co-working stations and bookable meeting spaces available.

“Health and wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do at Moda Living, so ensuring our neighbourhoods are healthy places that support and encourage wellness-focused lifestyles is crucial. We are committed to making healthy living achievable for all of our residents.

“We are therefore extremely excited to have secured our third three-star Fitwel rating in the space of a year at Moda, New York Square. The neighbourhood has brought a new generation of rental living to Leeds city centre and this Fitwel milestone proves New York Square is one of the happiest, healthiest place to live in the city.”

Richard Smith, Managing Director at Moda’s operational developments
Residents lounge at Moda, New York Square in Leeds | BTR News
Residents lounge at Moda, New York Square in Leeds.

Residents have access to a 24/7 gym equipped with state-of-the art fitness machines and equipment, and fitness classes and services from Moda partner Hero Wellbeing, which offers personal training sessions and expert consultation services and masterclasses on a range of wellness subjects – including nutrition, mental health and sleep. A newly launched partnership between Moda and leading home fitness app Fiit, also gives residents free access to the app’s more than 600 on-demand classes.

Environment sensors have been installed by smart tech partner Utopi to monitor humidity, temperature, light levels and air quality, and the walls’ sound proofing are five decibels above the required levels, providing a calm and quiet living environment.

Moda Living also launched a new service to help residents go green through a partnership with Utopi and MyModa app provider Spike Global, which puts the data from the smart sensors into the hands of the resident. Using the existing MyModa app, residents can track their carbon output and see where their green performance ranks in the neighbourhood. They can also monitor utility usage and spend and will receive tips and tricks to help them minimise the cost of running their home. In the midst of the cost-of-living crisis, this new service protects residents’ mental and financial wellbeing.  

Private dining room at Moda, New York Square | BTR News
Private dining room at Moda, New York Square.

“We are delighted that Moda, New York Square has achieved this three-star Fitwell rating, underlining the asset’s strong ESG credentials and focus on health and wellbeing of its residents. We invest into assets that combine ESG criteria with the delivery of investment performance. The platform of Grade A Build to Rent assets which we have invested into with Apache Capital and Harrison Street meet these criteria perfectly.” 

Tom Bostock, Investment Manager at NFU Mutual

Moda, New York Square is part of Moda Living’s Build to Rent joint venture (JV) with investment manager Apache Capital. The £2.5bn JV will deliver 6,500 homes across key regional cities – with Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham already home to operational schemes.

“The Fitwell accreditation is testament to the wide-ranging and carefully considered ESG strategy being rolled out across the entire JV pipeline. Residents are rightly becoming more discerning around the health and wellbeing qualities available to them, and as Build to Rent supply continues to grow, so will the level of competition in this respect. Moda and Apache have played a pioneering role here for a number of years and will continue to raise the bar with every step.”

Jamie Snary, Executive Director – Asset Management and Operations, Apache Capital