ECF ticks off New Bailey resi tower

The final phase of The Slate Yard build-to-rent development at the consortium’s Salford mixed-use scheme has completed ahead of schedule, comprising 199 apartments.

The 21-storey third phase is the tallest of the three Slate Yard towers and offers 98 one-bedroom, 81 two-bedroom and 20 three-bedroom flats. It sits to the left of New Quay Street on the edge of New Bailey, on the Salford side of the River Irwell near Manchester city centre.

Construction of the £26m final phase of the AHR Architects-designed Slate Yard began in September 2018, led by main contractor Morgan Sindall Construction. It was scheduled to complete next spring.

ECF is a venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England. It this year competed the latest office development at New Bailey, known as Two New Bailey, where Sainsbury’s last week agreed a letting, as well as a 175,000 sq ft pre-let to telecoms giant BT at Four New Bailey.

Residents at The Slate Yard – the first two blocks of which completed in 2017 and are operational – have access to several communal facilities including a lounge, gym and exercise studio at ground floor level and a private dining room with kitchen, which can be booked for private events.

Leon Guyett, development director at ECF, said: “Despite the challenges we’ve faced this year, it’s encouraging to end the year on such a positive note and see The Slate Yard reach completion ahead of schedule.

“Even before the pandemic hit, we were aware of the increasing number of people working more flexibly and obviously we’ve seen that trend accelerate in 2020. With the ground-floor lounge space, it gives those who choose to continue to work from home more in the future greater flexibility on where and how they work.

“We look forward to safely welcoming residents in the new year.”

Dan Batterton, senior fund manager, BTR, at Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) Real Assets, which forwarded funded The Slate Yard, said: “This is a real milestone for us. The first phase was completed back in 2017, and gave us our first BTR scheme; today, our portfolio stands at 2,000 completed apartments, across 16 schemes in 11 cities.”

Batterton added: “During the course of this year, we have seen a significant change in the way we live and work. The Slate Yard is well placed to benefit from some of those household behavioural trends and preferences emerging through the pandemic – namely, an increasing need for homes with functional space to work in, alongside convenient access to local cultural and leisure amenities.”

The project is Morgan Sindall’s fourth completion at New Bailey. The early finish “is testament to the hard work and diligence of our team, adhering to new working conditions as a result of the pandemic”, said Shaun Jones, the contractor’s area director for Greater Manchester.

The Slate Yard 3rd BTR

The final tower is the tallest of The Slate Yard, at 21 storeys

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