ISG PRS Mashup
The two projects with Brickland are to the left and top right, while the Liverpool Waters tower is at the bottom left

ISG kicks off build-to-rent pipeline

Charlie Schouten

ISG has started work on two major PRS projects in Liverpool and Manchester, with the contractor also eyeing a start on the next tower at Liverpool Waters by the end of the year.

Developer Brickland confirmed ISG as main contractor for two projects last month: a two-tower scheme at Cornbrook, and a nine-storey block on Blundell Street in Liverpool, both designed by Tim Groom Architects.

ISG is now on site at Blundell Street and is set to complete in summer 2020, while enabling works are well under way at Cornbrook with a full start expected next month.

Speaking to Place North West, Paul Munro, regional director for ISG’s North West business, said build-to-rent would be one of ISG’s “core sectors” as the regional business aims for a turnover of £100m by 2021.

“We want to have clear planning in place and a vision to do what we’re good at: that’s core sectors of education, student accommodation, offices, hospitality and leisure, and build-to-rent,” he said.

“It’s key to have those sectors balanced and to deliver a mix of new-build, refurbishment and fit-out.”

The contractor also confirmed it was in second-stage negotiations with Your Housing Group to deliver a 31-storey tower at Liverpool Waters, the third of three major build-to-rent developments on the site, alongside Moda’s The Lexington and Peel and Regenda’s Plaza 1821.

Archaeology work is already well under way and the contractor is aiming to start on the project by the end of the year.

The project at Liverpool Waters and with Brickland form part of ISG’s strategy to target the build-to-rent sector which Munro said was “incredibly strong” in both Manchester and Liverpool.

Paul Munro

Munro has been with ISG for around 18 months

He said the company would continue to look at opportunities on both a single-stage, two-stage, and negotiated tender basis, with the Brickland job in Manchester initially secured on a single-stage basis, leading to a negotiated deal for the developer’s Liverpool scheme.

“On single-stage, but we need to know it’s the right project; if it’s not right, we’d step away – you don’t want to waste clients’ time,” he said. “But again, it’s important to look at single-stage projects to give our estimators a sense of where the market is. Some contractors are saying they won’t do single-stage jobs but it will come back at some point – we have to keep ourselves sharp.”

He added the North West business currently turns over around £80m from its offices in Manchester, which moved to Tomorrow at MediaCity earlier this year, and Liverpool. It is on target to hit around £100m in revenue by 2021, and Munro added the company would keep aiming to improve its margins through “sector focus, adoption of technology, and investment in the people who know how to use it”.

Other projects the company is bidding for include two lots of the upcoming £1.5bn North West Construction Hub high-value framework, and the NWCH’s medium-value framework. It is also in negotiations to deliver a major hotel project in central Manchester, and is close to completing a mixed-use project at Lime Street in Liverpool.

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