Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has acquired a prime city-centre site in Manchester as the location for its first build to rent (BTR) project, investing £130m to fund the construction of 520 residential apartments, over 6,000 square feet of commercial space, and 102 car parking spaces.
The specialist insurer said the construction project, which has full planning consent, will deliver high-quality homes and help regenerate a key part of the city centre. It added the project expected to create 40 new jobs and employ 650 people during the construction phase, with completion due in 2024.
The scheme has been purpose-designed for build to rent and will be retained by PIC for the long term. It will comprise of 7,000 square feet of flexible amenity space in addition to retail space on the ground floor, a rooftop communal terrace, car parking and a range of public realm improvements.
The development is located adjacent to Victoria train and tram station, the city's second largest public transportation hub, and directly opposite the NOMA (North Manchester) business district.
Muse Developments, a part of the Morgan Sindall Group, is the developer, and VINCI Construction UK, a specialist civil engineering, construction and facilities management company, is the contractor.
PIC chief executive Tracy Blackwell commented: "This investment, which will have a positive effect on the local economy, will provide long-term, secure cashflows to back our pension payments in the decades ahead."
Blackwell added PIC was "actively engaged" on a number of similar opportunities across the UK and had "a strong pipeline" of such projects going into 2021.
Muse Developments development director David Burkinshaw added: "Reaching completion on the forward funding deal with PIC is a significant milestone for all partners, as we bring forward the first phase of this innovative gateway development. This deal highlights investor confidence in our long-term vision to transform and repurpose an underutilised site in Manchester city centre."
PIC was advised by Colliers International, HAALO, WSP, Addleshaw Goddard, Paul Nash and Bishopsfield Capital Partners.
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