A specialist cross firm team at Gowling WLG has advised NFU Mutual on its investment into a series of large, premium build-to-rent (BTR) developments across the UK. The investment joint venture now includes six assets, representing a total of 3,050 homes. The investment joint venture platform was formed in 2018 by Apache Capital with Harrison Street Capital, NFU Mutual and Moda as the development partner.
The latest site in Birmingham marks the largest regional BTR funding deal completed in the UK. Moda will develop, manage and operate the €343 million (£302 million) (GDV) Great Charles Street, which is set to begin phased delivery in October 2025 and will prioritise leading ESG certifications.
The 2.6-acre brownfield site, undeveloped for over 50 years is to be transformed into a dynamic new neighbourhood. The first Apache platform already owns the Birmingham based Mercian's 42 story BTR site (the Midlands' tallest residential tower) which had a £118 million debt facility from Goldman Sachs. The other sites acquired on the platform are in Liverpool, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The team advising NFU Mutual was led by partner Sharon Ayres (real estate investment funds) with cross team specialist support from Owen Shave (corporate/funds); Lee Nuttall (tax), Dan Gwilliam and Denise Sexton (real estate) Sue Ryan, Philip Baker and Hannah Daeche (construction), and Gurinder Mann (real estate finance).
Commenting on the investment, Sharon Ayres said:
"It has been a pleasure to provide legal advice on such a landmark build-to-rent project and help facilitate the development of new homes to help meet the demand for new housing. We look forward to seeing this progress and develop into another great investment for the NFU Mutual team."
Tom Bostock, property investment manager at NFU Mutual, added:
"We are pleased to expand our build-to-rent joint venture with Apache Capital and Harrison Street. High-quality, purpose-built rental accommodation, such as our Great Charles Street development, provides long-term, steady income streams, while helping major cities like Birmingham attract and retain talent. Working with the specialist team at Gowling WLG has been a pleasure – as always."