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First Build to Rent scheme at MediaCityUK opens to residents

Duet, MediaCityUK’s first Build to Rent scheme, has opened its doors – providing a luxury development of 270 residential apartments.

The new development, which spans across two 15-storey towers and features one, two and three-bedroom premium apartments, is situated in a prime waterfront location next to the Harbour City tram stop.

It represents the latest joint project from More (the BTR brand of private equity fund manager Moorfield), developer Glenbrook Property and specialist rental operator Allsop, and follows the successful launch of Manchester’s The Trilogy in 2018, which is now fully occupied.  

On offer exclusively to renters, residents are set to enjoy ‘unrivalled facilities designed to deliver both convenience and a community feel’.

Occupants will benefit from free access to an on-site gym and fitness centre, 24-hour concierge, communal podium garden with waterfront views, a co-working space and a residents’ lounge with a free coffee bar. There will also be an ‘exciting calendar’ of residents-only events, including Friday drinks and pet socials.

The apartments come in a number of stylish designs and are available either furnished or unfurnished, with inbuilt appliances, premium furniture packages and modern designs all on offer. What’s more, apartments placed above the seventh floor offer ‘stunning views’ over the cityscape and beyond.

One of the fastest-growing property trends in the UK, Build to Rent aims to professionalise the rental experience with a flexible, tenant-friendly approach. There are typically luxury add-ons and amenities to provide a bespoke, hotel-style service to renters. In many cases, on-site staff services and dedicated tech-enabled management platforms are used to make the process as seamless and digital-friendly as possible.  

The most recent data from Savills and the British Property Federation, with the latter tracking the progress of the sector with its Build to Rent map, found that the number of Build to Rent homes now in planning, under construction or completed has reached more than 150,000, with a 51% surge in the number of completed Build to Rent homes in key regional cities.

Salford and Manchester are two cities which have embraced Build to Rent more than most, with nearly 23,000 properties either completed or in the development pipeline – second only to London.

Clippers Quay, The Anaconda Cut and The Slate Yard, Legal & General’s first Build to Rent scheme when it opened in 2017, are just some of the examples of projects launched in Salford in recent years, as MediaCityUK has increased the number of young professionals moving to the city.

“Salford has been undergoing a renaissance in recent years and is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade, making it one of the largest business communities,” Heiko Figge, head of operational asset management at Moorfield Group, said.

“It was therefore the perfect location to choose for our next project and we’re confident that busy professionals will benefit from our high-end, stress-free living option which is in both easy reach of the thriving MediaCityUK business community and less than a 10 minute tram ride into the city centre.”

He added: “We know the demand for premium Build to Rent options in Manchester is there, our first More project Trilogy is now fully occupied after launching just last year, and we’re confident Duet will follow suit.”

Dougie Orton-Wade, general manager at Duet Salford Quays, said that Duet offers more than just a home. “Through our shared communal facilities and calendar of events designed specifically for residents, we’re creating a community of like-minded professionals, who want more from their apartment than just a roof over their heads,” he claimed.

“We’re confident in the location and accommodation offering - which will suit professionals seeking luxury accommodation with flexible lease terms and a close-knit community. The number of enquiries we’ve already received shows just how much demand there is for this type of accommodation in the city.”

The new bespoke development of 270 luxury apartments, situated in the heart of Salford Quays and just a few minutes’ walk from MediaCityUK, offers strong transport links and easy access to central Manchester, as well as being part of a thriving city itself.

What is MediaCityUK?

The 200-acre mixed-used development on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, which describes itself as an international hub for technology, innovation and creativity, is home to the BBC, ITV, Ericsson, dock10 and Kellogg’s, as well as more than 250 smaller media and digital businesses.  

It plays host to office space, retail space, event venues, a tech hub, hotels, serviced apartments, leisure and sporting spaces, and numerous food and drink options – from coffee shops and delis to restaurant chains, ale houses and trendy cocktail bars.

There is also Lightbox, a new 19-storey scheme featuring 238 apartments made up of one, two and three-bed apartments, which are now available to buy off-plan.

The development, a joint venture between Peel Land and Property Group and Legal & General Capital, is aimed heavily at millennials working in the media and tech sectors – natural renters, in other words, who may also be seeking more luxury, all-in-one and bespoke rental experiences. The inclusion of free WiFi, cleaning, events calendars, concierge services, utilities and workspace in many Build to Rent developments may be especially attractive to this time-poor, tech-savvy demographic.

First Build to Rent scheme at MediaCityUK opens to residents

Construction began at MediaCItyUK in 2007, with the former wasteland that once housed Manchester’s docks transformed into one of the UK’s major media and tech hubs. Outside of London, it is arguably the most powerful media centre in the country. This video produced by dock10 highlights the rollercoaster journey from working dock to piece of derelict land to thriving waterfront destination in the space of five or so decades.

There are ambitious proposals to double the size of the development by 2030, which were approved in September 2016, with a further £1 billion of private investment to come.

MediaCityUK really started to grow in influence and standing at the beginning of the last decade when the initial infrastructure completed. By January 2011, dock10 studios became operational and a few months later, in May 2011, the BBC began its move of 3,200 staff into three buildings. Later that year, the University of Salford opened its new media academy and in March 2013, ITV completed the move of 700 staff.

Salford, which is also home to the Lowry Arts Centre and has a deep connection with the world-renowned artist, has undergone significant regeneration in recent years and is seen as a key player in the government’s long-talked of Northern Powerhouse Agenda, especially when it comes to innovation and the nurturing of digital skills for future generations.

Its rising status is perhaps best shown by it being one of the UK’s top locations for startup growth. With this, and the ongoing expansion of MediaCityUK, it’s hard to argue with the notion that Salford has a bright looking future.

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