City Developments acquires UK site for build-to-rent project

Vintage U.K. five pound noteVintage U.K. five pound note

City Developments said on Friday it acquired a U.K. site at Monk Bridge in Leeds for 15.4 million British pounds, or around S$27.5 million) from Alpha Real Trust to develop as a build-to-rent project, marking its entry into the country’s private rented sector (PRS).

It plans a 664-unit build-to-rent residential project with retail space located in the site’s heritage arches under a viaduct, the property developer said in a filing to SGX before the market open on Friday.

“Expanding into the U.K. PRS is in line with our strategy to grow CDL’s recurring income. Due to increased labor mobility and the growing popularity of renting, we see strong growth potential for this sector,” Sherman Kwek, City Developments’ CEO, said in the statement.

“Moreover, the PRS is a key part of the government’s agenda to solve the U.K.’s housing supply-demand imbalance. Brexit is expected to have limited impact on this sector as demand is mainly driven by locals,” he added.

The site, which is about a 10-minute walk to the Leeds Train Station, has full planning permission to be developed into a mixed-use residential and commercial property with a net lettable area of around 386,000 square feet and 16,000 square feet respectively, it said.

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