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Nikal Limited is delighted to announce that it has signed contracts with Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord and leader in the UK private rented sector (PRS), for the delivery of a 375-home PRS development (known as ‘build to rent’) at Exchange Square 2 in Birmingham.

Grainger’s new development at Exchange Square, designed by Stephenson Studio, is located opposite HS2 Curzon Birmingham. The forthcoming arrival of HS2 Curzon Birmingham means that Exchange Square will become an important visual landmark, welcoming hundreds of thousands of people to the city every day.

Andrew Saunderson, Director of Investments at Grainger said, “We are delighted to progress on our Exchange Square development, our second Build to Rent scheme in Birmingham. The Exchange Square location makes it attractive and convenient for renters in the city, and we look forward to seeing this landmark scheme progress.”

The formal completion of the agreement concludes the appointment of leading design and build specialist McAleer & Rushe as main contractor. Works commence on site this week, with completion scheduled for Summer 2023.

Grainger’s development, along with half-an-acre of new public realm known as ‘Exchange Square’, will form the first stage of works on the last phase of this development. A second stage will deliver a 15-storey 235-bed Premier Inn Hotel and 6,000sqft Bar+Block Steakhouse Restaurant, both pre-let to Whitbread, and 7,500 sq ft of high-quality retail space.

Exchange Square Phase 2 is the next phase in Nikal’s dynamic £350m urban village. Phase 1, comprising 603 build-to-rent apartments across three buildings of seven, fourteen and twenty-seven storeys, was completed last November.

Says Nikal Development Director, Darren Jones, “We’re so proud of what we have achieved to date in Birmingham. We started with dreams and derelict land, and to see ambitions transformed into thriving busy communities that people can call home is why we do what we do.

“This next chapter in our Masshouse story is our most ambitious to date, and we could not have asked for a better partner in this project than Grainger. Their foresight, passion and dedication to creating a sense of place and community, whilst providing high quality homes for all, is admirable. We are looking forward to working with them to deliver Exchange Square Phase 2 in Birmingham,” he said.

James Mannix, Head of Residential Development at Knight Frank says “This deal is a huge vote of confidence for the BTR sector and for Birmingham. Nikal is emerging as a key delivery partner for this sector and Grainger is continuing to curate one of the best institutional grade rental portfolios in the country.  Knight Frank research shows that through careful and considerate tenant care during this crisis that institutional landlords have continued to collect close to normal levels of rent through the period.”

Nikal has been a major contributor to modern Birmingham since 2003, after being awarded the opportunity to regenerate ‘Masshouse Plot 7’; a site created by the removal of Masshouse Circus, the ‘concrete collar’ ring road that was restricting the expansion of Birmingham’s city core.

In 2005, Nikal commenced the delivery of 350 apartments across two buildings, Masshouse Plaza and The Hive. Exchange Square followed after Nikal agreed a £105m forward funding deal with La Salle Investment Management. At the time, the deal was ground breaking, marking the first time an institutional fund had forward funded a build-to-rent development of this scale outside of London. It acted as a catalyst for other PRS development in the city.