Bristol: Key milestone reached for ‘glasshouse square’ development of 468 new city centre build-to-rent homes

Bristol: Key milestone reached for ‘glasshouse square’ development of 468 new city centre build-to-rent homes
  • Redcliff Quarter build to rent scheme tops out
  • Main contractor Winvic Construction Ltd celebrates milestone
  • Developer Madison Cairn – in partnership with ICG Real Estate – steers scheme closer to completion

BRISTOL: The redevelopment of a 2.5-acre site in the heart of Bristol has reached a key milestone after main contractor Winvic Construction Ltd celebrated topping out at the mixed-used Redcliff Quarter scheme.

Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, announced in 2022 that it had exchanged conditional contracts to forward fund and acquire the build-to-rent (BtR) element of the second phase of Redcliff Quarter in Bristol. Known as Glasshouse Square, the development comprises 374 build-to-rent homes, as well as 94 affordable homes and four commercial units. Upon practical completion, Grainger will own and operate the scheme, delivering much needed new homes in the centre of Bristol.

Developer Madison Cairn – working in partnership with global alternative asset manager ICG Real Estate – secured planning permission for 468 new build to rent homes in 2021, along with an adjacent PBSA development of 367 rooms.

The site has a much longer history, though. It had been vacant for more than 20 years when, in 2017, planning permission was granted to regenerate the site. However, after completing the first phase of the scheme – 118 new homes at the north of the site – the development stalled, leaving the rest of the scheme undeveloped. Madison Cairn took over as developer, successfully unlocking the scheme.

In addition to the 374 BtR homes and 94 affordable homes, Glasshouse Square includes a total of c.5,900 sq. ft of internal residents’ amenity space; c.21,200 sq. ft of external amenity space and c.8,500 sq. ft of commercial space.

The site is a short, nine-minute walk from Bristol Temple Meads Station, which sits at the heart of Europe’s largest regeneration, Temple Quarter.

Glasshouse Square builds on Grainger’s existing Bristol portfolio, which includes Hawkins & George, comprising 194 build-to-rent homes, and Millwrights Place which provides 231 build-to-rent homes.

Michael Keaveney, Director of Land and Development from Grainger plc said:

“This is an exciting milestone for Glasshouse Square, our third Bristol-based development, providing 468 high-quality, professionally managed and well-connected homes for renters, bringing our total portfolio in the city to 900 homes. We look forward to seeing Glasshouse Square progress over the coming months ahead of our launch next year.”

Mark Jones, Winvic’s Managing Director for Multi-room, said:

“Acknowledging this notable project milestone is a tremendous achievement for all stakeholders involved. The topping out of this complex development in the heart of Bristol is a testament to the team’s perseverance and determination throughout a challenging winter. I wish to extend my gratitude to our dedicated team along with the consultants and supply chain for their tireless efforts thus far. With enthusiasm, we are poised for the year ahead, guiding us towards the final stages of completion in 2025.”

Aneil Handa, Managing Director of Madison Cairn, said:

“There is a serious under-supply of homes in Bristol. By working in partnership with ICG Real Estate and Grainger we secured planning permission for a revised Redcliff Quarter scheme that saw a substantial increase in the number of homes delivered on the site, compared with the previous consent. Importantly, the new scheme now has 94 affordable homes, which will make a real contribution to helping address Bristol’s housing need. It is great to see such progress on the construction and look forward to seeing the building getting closer to completion in 2025.”

Ryan Jones, Managing Director at Iesis Consult, said:

“Growing up in Bristol, I’ve always had a deep connection to this city, which makes reaching the topping out of Redcliff Quarter particularly special. Our business, Iesis Consult, has been operating on Redcliff Street for over 15 years, making this project close to home in more ways than one.

“The development of Redcliff Quarter, situated in the heart of Bristol, has been a complex and high-profile endeavour. Our team, alongside a dedicated wider team has navigated significant market changes to bring this vision to life. It’s rewarding to see our efforts come to fruition, providing essential housing and student accommodation. I’m proud of our collective achievements and eagerly anticipate the completion of this project, which will greatly benefit the Bristol community.”

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