LONDON - Greystar Real Estate Partners, the global rental housing leader, and Henderson Park, the European real estate investment platform founded by Nick Weber, announce that they have exchanged contracts with Tide Construction Limited, to acquire a 550-apartment residential development at 101 George Street in Croydon, London. On completion, the development will comprise two of the world’s tallest towers built using modular construction, at 44-storeys and 38-storeys. The site has full planning permission and the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
This is the second investment Henderson Park and Greystar have made in joint venture into the London residential Private Rented Sector (PRS), following their $197m (£140.5m) acquisition of a 172-unit Central London residential portfolio from Barratt Developments PLC in March last year.
101 George Street is one of the best-connected locations in Croydon and is directly opposite East Croydon train station, which on an average weekday has 600 trains running into central London, with fast trains taking just 16 minutes. Croydon is one of the largest commercial districts outside central London, with an extensive shopping district and night-time economy. The borough has recently emerged as one of the fastest growing areas out of 173 UK regions, with an annual growth rate of 9.3 percent, and has been dubbed the “Silicon Valley of South London” due to the high number of tech companies and startup businesses operating locally.
On November 14th, Croydon Council voted unanimously to approve plans for a $1.8bn (£1.4bn) regeneration scheme, anchored by a new Westfield and Hammerson shopping center, that will deliver over 1.5m sq ft of retail and leisure space. The plans were approved by the Mayor of London in January 2018 and construction work is scheduled to commence in 2019. The new shopping center is at the heart of around $738bn (£5.25bn) of planned major investments into Croydon which include 2m sq ft of new Grade A office space, new residential developments and eight hotels, as well as Croydon Council’s infrastructure improvement programme; all helping drive new residents, visitors and businesses to the town center.
All apartments at 101 George Street will benefit from access to shared amenities including roof gardens at the top of each tower, a podium-level sun lounge, panoramic viewing galleries, fully equipped gyms, residents lounge and private dining and event rooms. The development will also deliver a new civic environment for Croydon at ground level with a ‘woodland winter garden’ that will offer green space on George Street. The ground floor incorporates an art gallery, artist’s studio spaces, a business incubator hub and a café. 101 George Street will include homes for rent on a variety of different terms, including affordable housing, London Living Rent, rental discounts, as well as open market rates. Greystar will manage the apartments with a full-time onsite team to ensure a high-quality rental experience for residents.
Mark Allnutt, Greystar Managing Director, UK said: “101 George Street is a strategically significant deal for Greystar and helps us move closer to our target of delivering 10,000 multifamily units in London by 2022. It also means that, when operational, we will have large-scale multifamily developments in four areas of London – Greenford in West London, Sailmakers in East London, Nine Elms in central London and now Croydon in south London. We’re thrilled that Henderson Park has decided to invest a second time with Greystar and we look forward to working closely over the coming months to deliver this exceptional project.”
Nick Weber, Founding Partner of Henderson Park, commented: “This significant acquisition provides us with further critical mass in London’s residential PRS market. Croydon has a long history as a strong business, retail, leisure and residential destination and the town is currently enjoying a real renaissance driven by £5.25 billion of inward investment and infrastructure works. This programme of investment will further increase demand for homes and 101 George Street, with its fast modular building methods, will provide much needed supply across all levels of affordability. We are also very pleased to be working with Greystar again and combining our team’s experience with one of the world’s leaders in rented housing.”
Troy Tomasik, Greystar Managing Director, Investments, said: “This is an ambitious development and an exciting milestone for Greystar which signals our commitment to finding innovative solutions to London’s housing challenge. Croydon is emerging as an economically-vibrant and culturally dynamic center but it’s going to need high-quality rental homes to support this stellar growth. 101 George Street, as well as claiming the title ‘tallest modular towers in the world’, will set a new standard for rental accommodation in south London, with fantastic facilities for residents as well as civic space for the local community. We’re proud to be bringing all this to Croydon, with Henderson Park and in partnership with Tide Construction.”
101 George Street will be developed using modular construction, a method providing a much faster alternative to traditional construction without compromising on the quality of the building or the versatility of the design. Modules are constructed offsite in a controlled manufacturing environment to ensure a higher quality finish, with 80 per cent less waste, fewer onsite workers and greater certainty on costs and time. The modules will be shipped from a factory in Bedford with the electricity prewired and plumbing, furniture and windows already installed. The total build time for the project will take just 24 months, from construction starting to residents moving in to their new homes.
101 George Street is the fourth project Greystar and Tide Construction have delivered using this method and, once complete, will bring the total number of units the partnership has delivered in London to 1,700 units.
Christy Hayes, CEO of Tide Construction Ltd., said: “The towers of 101 George Street will stand tall as testimony to the potential of modular construction within the UK and beyond. Building high-quality homes faster, and with less disruption to the local area, is of paramount importance in such a fast-evolving area of south London. Modular construction is highly suited to rental developments as investors and operators can welcome residents into their homes sooner and open the revenue streams earlier.”