Residential developer Realstar has made Orient House on Manchester’s Granby Row the first scheme to be marketed under its new rental brand Uncle.
The Canadian developer acquired the listed building in March 2016 and has a £30m scheme planned. It intends to create 171 studio and one-bedroom apartments alongside a gym, art studio and co-working space, which will all be free to use by residents. The scheme will have live-in managers.
Ryan Prince, founder of Uncle and Realstar principal, said: “With ongoing conversations about the Northern Powerhouse, Manchester is going from strength to strength. With the city being such a desirable place to live and work, there is strong rental demand from young professionals looking for a more tailored or lifestyle-orientated service offering.”
Uncle will own and manage the entire building, enabling them to cut fees associated with lettings, offer flexible tenancies and fast-track repairs.
Prince added: “By owning the whole building, not just a flat here and there, we have economies of scale which allow us to offer ‘one stop shopping’ for customers – we conduct the viewings, fix routine repairs, take parcels – and anything else that helps.
“This means we’re completely consumer-focused, offering a truly different experience when it comes to renting, rather than having lots of different people involved in the chain. We want to be the landlord that’s got your back.”
The Realstar group, which has only developed in London so far in the UK, owns and manages in excess of $6bn of assets. It controls 25,000 apartments in Canada.