Hermes Investment Management and Countrywide’s property fund Vista has signed contracts to forward purchase the first phase of residential development at Peel’s Manchester Waters, formerly Pomona Island, from developer Rowlinson Construction.
The Nicol Thomas-designed blocks of 11 and 10 storeys made up of 164 flats were granted planning consent in November 2015, on a site owned by Peel Land & Property between Hulme Hall Road, and the Manchester Ship and Bridgewater canals.
Rowlinson has acquired the site on long leasehold from Peel.
The scheme was passed despite fierce objections and social media campaigns by residents opposed to the plans on design quality grounds and over the use of green space.
In September, Greater Manchester Combined Authority awarded the development more than £10m from the new £300m housing fund for the city region. The deal with Vista is a commitment to purchase the buildings on completion, so the funds from the Combined Authority will be used to finance the construction process.
It is Vista’s second largest PRS scheme following the £50m forward purchase of Baltic Village in Liverpool, which exchanged last year.
This phase at Manchester Waters will be the first scheme to be developed at Pomona Island, which is located on the south west fringe of central Manchester.
Chris Taylor, head of private markets at Hermes Investment Management, said: “The combined strengths and expertise of Hermes Investment Management and Countrywide allows us to deliver extremely attractive UK BTR assets that appeal to both investor’s requirements and accessible living for the local population.
“Manchester is one of the UK’s strongest regional economies and has particularly robust professional and financial service industries helping to continue its growth trajectory. Manchester Waters is therefore a long-term investment for Vista and falls in line with our strategy of focusing on high-quality, new BTR assets across the UK.”
Rowlinson Construction has started on site.