The Forge interior.

North East FTSE 250 business lands first ‘build-to-rent’ site in £57m acquisition

Newcastle headquartered Grainger plc, has acquired The Forge, a stabilised income producing Build-to-Rent (“BTR”) asset from Moorfield Group in a £57m deal.

The Forge, completed in 2019, is the only stabilised BTR asset in Newcastle. In addition to the 283 residential apartments and commercial unit, the scheme offers 3,500 sq ft of high-quality resident amenity space, including an onsite gym, residents lounge and flexible co-working spaces.

This is Grainger’s first purpose built BTR investment in its home city of Newcastle. The site is located on Forth Banks in the city centre with a wide range of amenities, local services and public transport links nearby.

Helen Gordon, chief executive of Grainger, said: “We are very pleased to have acquired a stabilised build-to-rent opportunity that meets Grainger’s high standards and is located in our home city of Newcastle. The Forge is proven as a great place to live, and, provides us with immediate rental income, further boosting our ambitious growth plans.”

Marc Gilbard, CEO at Moorfield Group, commented: “We are proud to have delivered a benchmark for quality BTR in Newcastle. The asset has performed well for our investors since its completion in 2019 and the timing of this disposal in line with our investment fund’s value-add strategy.

“We continue to believe in the structural drivers underpinning the UK residential for rent market, where we have been at the vanguard of its evolution and where we continue to explore new and compelling initiatives.”

Nick Pleydell-Bouverie, head of residential capital markets at Knight Frank, added: “As one of the first purpose-designed and stabilised Build to Rent assets to have traded in the UK market, The Forge represents a landmark transaction for the sector.”

Grainger’s acquisition is in line with its stated investment strategy. Stabilised acquisitions deliver immediate income and accelerate its growth strategy, however they are limited due to the relative immaturity of the institutional rental market in the UK and sometimes do not meet Grainger’s investment criteria.

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