Strawberry Star hires Development Director to drive BTR

Strawberry Star Group appoints a Development Director to drive the expansion of its Build to Rent arm - Star Living.

Simon Taylor, Development Director at Strawberry Star who has been appointed to drive the Group's Build to Rent arm - Star Living | BTR News
Simon Taylor, Development Director at Strawberry Star who has been appointed to drive the Group's Build to Rent arm - Star Living.

Rapidly expanding property developer and operator – Strawberry Star Group – announces the appointment of Simon Taylor as Development Director. Simon joins from Bloor Homes where he was Design and Technical Director, having previously spent over six years at Redrow as Technical Director and Operations Director. 

Simon has over 21 years’ specialist technical experience working for the UK’s top housebuilders – including Barratt and Berkeley, across major brownfield and regeneration development sites in the South East. 

“We are thrilled to have Simon join the expanding Strawberry Star team. We have a highly scalable and differentiated concept in Star Living, which we are launching from a platform with real substance in terms of project sites and expertise. Simon’s rich and well-rounded experience will support this dedicated team in establishing Strawberry Star as a key player in the Build to Rent sector.”

Steven Beveridge, Chief Executive Officer, Strawberry Star

Reporting to CEO Steven Beveridge, Simon will lead on new developments, driving the expansion of Strawberry Star’s Build to Rent arm, Star Living, across the commuter belt. Simon will oversee land purchasing through to planning and on to final delivery and aftercare. He will also focus on expanding the commercial and delivery teams to support this growth.

“I am incredibly excited to join Strawberry Star to strengthen its business aims. I specialise in producing accessible, amenity driven, high quality homes, therefore I couldn’t be better placed to make a difference. Strawberry Star has a reputation of nurturing entrepreneurial spirit which really speaks to my strengths. The scope of the role is exciting, growing a boutique product in the market that’s a more niche offering than what competitors are currently providing.”

Simon Taylor, Development Director, Strawberry Star

The appointment is at a significant time of growth for Strawberry Star, which announced the launch of its Build to Rent platform – Star Living – last week. Strawberry Star currently has over 2,000 units planned or under construction, and the Group is aiming to have a portfolio within London commuter towns totalling £1bn GDV by 2027.

Adding a dedicated Build to Rent offering on top of development, residential sales, lettings, asset management and acquisitions, Star Living positions the business as a unique end-to-end provider for an integrated solution, providing one customer journey for both investor and tenant. 

Star Living will launch at its Harlow development in Essex, with phase one as a dedicated Build to Rent block of 163 units with a GDV of £45m, due to start construction this year. Planning permission has also been granted for a Star Living site in Gravesend, Kent, with the first phase planned for around 100 Build to Rent homes with a GDV of £30m. An existing Strawberry Star BTS site – Lu2on in Bedfordshire – will soon launch phase two with 564 Build to Rent units with an estimated GDV of £160m.

“We’re looking for more sites to recreate some of the success we’ve had at our Luton scheme, where we’ve seen a massive influx of activity from landlords and institutional investors. Luton has long been an unsung commuter town hero, but with £1.5bn being invested here, plus new train lines and an enterprise zone set to create 10,000 jobs, Luton will earn itself a place on the map once more. We’re targeting other regeneration areas with similar potential alongside well-established commuter towns with excellent transport links. I believe it will be London’s peripheral locations that hold the key for new housing in the South East.”

Simon Taylor, Development Director, Strawberry Star