Planning permission for The Fairfax was secured in 2020. Credit: via Good Relations

Olympian’s Manchester Fairfax towers get £165m funding boost

Construction on the 488-home build-to-rent project is set to begin this month, with a projected completion date of spring 2025.

Global real estate investor and manager Round Hill Capital has formed a partnership with developer Olympian Homes as part of a £165m forward-funding agreement for The Fairfax. In a press release, Round Hill teased that it would be the first of many such investments.

“We are excited to be announcing our BTR investment with Olympian Homes, an exemplary developer with an outstanding track record, and together we will create a flagship asset in the UK,” said Tom France, head of UK investment at Round Hill Capital.

“Our exceptional investment, development and property management expertise, authentic local perspective and deep market insights help us to identify strong regional UK cities such as Manchester, and will allow us to unlock further opportunities in the coming months and years,” he continued.

Set off Portugal Street East, The Fairfax received a final decision notice in March last year from Manchester City Council. Comprising two structures linked by a podium, The Fairfax is the work of executive design architect Jon Matthews Architects and delivery architect Day Architectural.

The two towers will be 23 and 29 storeys tall and host a mixture of one- and two-bedroom flats.

RG Group landed the construction contract for The Fairfax in December last year.

The Fairfax is Olympian Homes’ first BTR scheme. James Lindridge, development director at Olympian Homes, described how this was the right time for such a project.

“Manchester is a flourishing city with a great pipeline of opportunities,” he said. “This new development will help manage the supply/demand imbalance in the area by providing residents with high-quality accommodation in a city centre location complemented by excellent transport links.”

Michael Bickford, founder and chief executive of Round Hill, described the investment as a “milestone” for the company, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Bickford said: “Addressing a major supply/demand imbalance in a thriving city with strong capital growth prospects, this flagship project in Manchester demonstrates our ability to identify intelligent investment opportunities and high-performing sectors across Europe with valued partners.”

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Demolition has now commenced. Glad to see this one has now started. This area will be unrecognisable soon! 🙂

By Steve

Looks good! Not sure Manchester really needs more unaffordable city centre flats but the absence of Renaker, Simpson Haugh and their receipt of public money are all a step in the right direction.

By Anonymous

I feel sorry for the poor tenants being cooped up in their flats without their own outside balcony space to escape to.

In future, schemes that feature balconies will be at a significant competitive advantage in the residential lettings market. Prospective funders / investors should take this into account.

By Balcony watch

It is a mess at ground level around there. I hope that they sort out the shabby state of the streets.

By Elephant

Personally I would not consider purchasing any apartment that did not offer a balcony and/or roff gardens.

By Robert Fuller

This corner of the city is seeing tonnes of improvement at once! The view from the train as you pull into Piccadilly is a bit of an embarrassment at the moment. This, Victoria House, Islington Wharf Phase 4, Electric Park and The Leonardo Hotel and the other developments round here will help massively.

By Improvement

It’s almost as if a HS2 station is being built there which is waiting to be finalised before other development can go on…..

By Verticality

Great news let’s build more high rise buildings good for Manchester,bigger the better

By Anonymous

All cities are regional. What a pompous London centric press release in relation to one of Europe’s largest cities. I hope the developer pays more attention to detail on the build itself.

By Dr B

I suppose if the tenants were bothered about balconies they’d buy or rent a flat with a balcony? If they don’t then they don’t want one and that’s their choice. It’s just common sense really.

By Anonymous

Needs moar balconies

By Balcony warrior

Moar balconies? Err maybe, but these are a decent design and in a rapidly developing location. Balconies are something of an irrelevance compared to what is happening around here.

By James riddle

@ James

How is the exclusion of balconies an “irrelevance”? From whose perspective? Certainly not from the tenants perspective (who doesn’t need their own outdoor space?); and not from investors perspective who are purchasing an asset without a basic feature.

The only way the exclusion of balcony space can be justified is if they’re building units for very transient residents – a hostel, student halls or a hotel for instance. I don’t think anybody thinks we should be encouraging a transient population in the city centre – ther are enough challenges with city living without encouraging people to regard the city centre as a temporary stop rather than a long term home with all the environmental problems that promotes.

By Balcony watch

An irrelevance because the developers didn’t choose to add balconies and has already been pointed out if tenants wanted a balcony they would choose an apartment that had them, of which there are plenty. You might want balconies on every block you see . I might want nothing built over 4 stories. It’s irrelevant, as long as there is choice developers build what they can sell.

By James

They didn’t add balconies because they weren’t compelled to add them because they are not seen as important by the planning department, contrary to their residential design guidance.

Tenants wanting balcony space have little choice for the same reason.

We need to view balcony space in high density flatted development as a fundamental requirement, not a luxury. There is no reason we should encourage a race for the bottom.

Any developers (and their investors) that include them, regardless of the enforcement of MCC’s own guidance would be at a competitive advantage I’d suggest.

By Balcony watch

I personally wouldn’t choose a flat without a balcony. I’m not everyone though. I know a lot of people who could care less about them. Let’s face it, most of them are overlooking road junctions in a busy city centre. As long as there is choice though I’d be happy .

By Anonymous

I think we all laugh at the balcony thing now, it’s almost a meme. “yes but balconies are…..etc etc…” This area is really coming on though.

By Anonymous

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