BDC

Topping out at Millwrights Place and Coopers Court sees second phase at Finzels Reach hit milestone moment

Left: Front group L-R: councillor Tom Reynard, Michelle Hyde head of land and planning at Abri, Steven Clark Director of Investments at Grainger (with trowel), Neal Stephens managing director Wilmott Dixon Wales & West and Peter Walford managing director Cubex with (behind) representatives from Grainger plc, Abri, Wilmott Dixon and Cubex, Right hand image: artist's impression of exterior of Millwrights

Construction at Millwrights Place and Coopers Court, Finzels Reach, Bristol, has reached a major milestone with ‘topping out’ being achieved.

The projects form the second Cubex/Grainger Build to Rent scheme in the city, providing high-quality rental homes and much needed affordable new homes for Abri.

Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing, Delivery and Homes at Bristol City Council, laid the final piece of concrete at Millwrights Place alongside representatives from the respective owners of the two schemes, namely housing provider Abri and Build to Rent Landlord Grainger plc.

Millwrights Place, developed by Cubex for Grainger plc, who will own and operate the scheme when complete, will provide 231 ‘Build to Rent’ homes created specifically for renters.  All new homes will be professionally managed by Grainger’s dedicated onsite Resident Services team and in addition to offering high quality homes there will be a strong emphasis on shared resident amenity spaces, including roof top terraces, residents’ lounge, gym, co-working space and shared entertainment spaces.  At ground level there will be co-working spaces custom-made for those working independently or running their own business.

Grainger, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord and a FTSE-250 listed business has over 100 years’ experience as a residential landlord and is a leader in the UK private rental market, leading the way in the emerging Build to Rent sector and raising the bar in the rental market by providing high quality, mid-market rental homes for young professionals, key workers and families on regular incomes.

Coopers Court, developed by Cubex for the social housing provider Abri, will deliver 66 affordable homes consisting of 48 homes for the social rented market and 18 for shared ownership. The energy-efficient building includes a bio-diversity roof amenity space, 94 cycling spaces and only four car parking spaces in line with the city’s drive to help tackle the environmental crisis.

Together, Coopers Court and Millwrights Place will help to address the housing crisis in Bristol by providing social housing, an opportunity for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder and high-quality rental accommodation all of which is much needed in the city.

Both buildings have been designed to have strong identities and a sense of place, whilst ensuring they integrate well with the surrounding area. Significant investment in improvements to the area around the buildings, including new landscaping, traffic management, pedestrian and cycle routes, will help create a more attractive area and foster a sense of community. As part of a £2.4m investment in improvements around the site, there will be new ‘pocket parks’ with seating and soft landscaping to create relaxing spaces the whole community can enjoy.

As well as Coopers Court and Millwrights Place, the second phase of Cubex’s mixed-use Finzels Reach development on the former fire station site, incorporates a landmark, sustainable 116,000 sq. ft office building named Halo, with notable tenants confirmed including international legal firm Osborne Clarke and accountancy firm Deloitte.

Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes, said:

“Demand for housing in Bristol far outstrips the number of homes available and it’s vitally important that we deliver a mixture of different types of housing to meet our city’s need. These new developments at Finzels Reach, offering affordable homes for social rent and shared ownership, and managed homes for rent, demonstrate that by working together we can deliver good quality homes for all.

“We’ve got Bristol building since 2016, with over 9,000 new homes delivered for Bristolians. These new homes in central Bristol will add another 297 to that total – including 66 new affordable homes.”

Peter Walford, managing director at Cubex, said:

“We are thrilled to have reached this important milestone on Coopers Court and Millwrights Place, an integral part of Finzels Reach phase two. Thanks to a successful partnership approach with both housing provider Abri and professional landlords Grainger, plus our construction partner Wilmott Dixon, this once-derelict city centre site is fast being transformed into much-needed, high quality affordable accommodation to add to the 440 homes we have already delivered at Finzels Reach. 

Neal Stephens, managing director from Wilmott Dixon Wales and West, said:

“Together, Millwrights Place and Coopers Court are the fourth project that we have worked on alongside Cubex and as part of this long standing and collaborative partnership we are delighted to have the opportunity to deliver this regenerative development.  Millwrights Place and Coopers Court will provide much needed high-quality housing in Bristol, and we at Wilmott Dixon are proud to be part of the team that has delivered this landmark scheme.”

Helen Gordon, Chief Executive at Grainger plc, said:

“We are delighted to have reached this milestone for our Millwrights Place development – a great addition to our Bristol portfolio and delivering much needed new homes in one of our key target cities. We look forward to seeing the development progress over the coming months in the lead up to our launch – providing high quality homes, a commitment to excellent customer service and establishing a thriving new community for renters in Bristol.”

Michelle Hyde, head of land and planning at Abri, commented:

“It’s great to be a step closer to providing affordable homes in such a central location in Bristol and to be helping to transform a former derelict site into a place of real value for the community.

“On our part, Abri is committed to delivering 12,500 new homes by 2030 and Coopers Court is a great example of how working with our partners we’re collectively helping to tackle the unmet housing need.”

Cubex bought the former fire station site in summer 2018 on behalf of Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund IV (UK), a programmatic joint venture by FRE UK that is exclusive to clients of CBRE Global Investment Partners (CBRE GIP). 

Award-winning Finzels Reach is one of the largest mixed-use developments in the South West. The first phase, which is complete, includes 440 new apartments, 240,000 sq.ft of office space including two Grade A office buildings, a 168-bedroom Premier Inn, plus a host of cafes, restaurants and a microbrewery across 30,000 sq.ft of leisure space.

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BDC 301 February 2023