Circle Square apartments start on site in the autumn on bustling Oxford Road
Circle Square apartments start on site in the autumn on bustling Oxford Road

MIPIM: Select outlines pipeline

Jessica Middleton-Pugh in Cannes

Select Property Group is targeting a September start date for its first private rented sector scheme in Manchester, 600 units at Circle Square in joint venture with Bruntwood, as part of 1,800 proposed homes the developer has in its delivery plan across the city under its Affinity Living brand.

Select first started developing in Manchester under its student accommodation arm Vita, headed up by former Ask Real Estate chief executive Ken Knott. The first Vita scheme was completed in Manchester’s First Street in 2014.

Following from the success of Vita, Select created serviced apartment brand Citysuites, followed by PRS offer Affinity Living.

Place North West caught up with Knott on the Manchester stand at MIPIM, to discuss Select’s seemingly meteoric growth over the past 12 months, and its pipeline of projects across the country.

Ken Knott Vita Ventures

The time has come to deliver, says Knott

Knott acknowledged that the expansion of the company had been rapid, but stressed that “most of it’s not delivered yet, and we need to get it done.”

Knott said it was Select’s customer-centric approach that made it so successful. “Select doesn’t think like a developer,” he said. “In fact, I’m the only property man on the board. It’s focused on the end user, and that is how the Vita brand has become a proven success, with 2,000 beds in nine locations across the country.”

Two more brands from Vita are due to be announced in the coming months, Knott explained, and the developer is also keen to do further joint ventures, after announcing partnerships with both Bruntwood and Ask Real Estate in the past six months.

“We want to expand Affinity into all of the UK core cities, including Liverpool,” Knott said. “We’re targeting 5,000 Affinity apartments across the UK in the next three years, and 1,800 of those are being delivered in Manchester.

“For Vita, the UK could support between 5,000 and 10,000 units. With Citysuites we’re looking at more modest targets as the market is shallower, with 1,000 to 1,500 units.”

Select is working with Bruntwood on residential towers alongside the River Irwell under the Affinity Living brand

Select is working with Bruntwood on residential towers alongside the River Irwell under the Affinity Living brand

Select Property Group is currently in the planning stages for a range of Affinity Living schemes in Manchester. This includes 677 apartments at Circle Square, due to start on site in September, and 506 apartments at Riverside and Riverview in Salford, all in joint ventures with Bruntwood, and 694 apartments at Embankment West in a joint venture with Ask Real Estate. Embankment is part of Salford City Council’s Greengate regeneration scheme which also includes Select’s 280-unit CitySuites serviced apartments development.

Select is also on site with 604 Vita Student flats at Circle Square, with previous schemes completed in Manchester’s First Street and Liverpool.

Other developers are also preparing to start construction of large residential projects as the Manchester development cycle gathers pace. Earlier this week, Moda Living said its 33-storey Angel Garcdens Tower at NOMA would go on site in May.

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