Harrison Street, Apache Capital and NFU Mutual Expand Joint Venture Portfolio with Moda Living in UK’s Largest Regional Build-to-Rent Deal

Apache Capital (“Apache”) has expanded its build-to-rent (“BTR”) joint venture (“JV”) with Harrison Street, one the leading investment firms exclusively focused on alternative real assets, and NFU Mutual, to fund Moda Living’s Great Charles Street, a 722-home BTR development in Birmingham, UK.

The JV, which was formed in 2018 to fund premium BTR developments across the UK, now includes six assets, representing a total of 3,050 homes. In addition to Great Charles Street, current projects include Moda, The Mercian, also in Birmingham, Moda, The McEwan in Edinburgh, Moda, The Lexington in Liverpool, Moda, New York Square in Leeds, and Moda, Holland Park in Glasgow.

The announcement marks the largest regional BTR funding deal completed in the UK. Moda will develop, manage, and operate the £302m (GDV) Great Charles Street, which is set to begin phased delivery in October 2025 and will prioritize leading ESG certifications.

The development is one of the largest regeneration projects in Birmingham City Centre and within walking distance to key leisure destinations. Once completed, it will offer 722 homes for rent, ranging from spacious studios to three-bedroom apartments with exclusive views over one of Birmingham’s oldest districts, the Jewellery Quarter.  

Residents will benefit from a range of luxury finishes and amenities, including a rooftop terrace and BBQ areas, gym with personal training and classes, bicycle storage, washing and repair station, residents’ lounges, private dining, cinema room, meeting rooms and co-working space and secure parking, as well as a 24-hour concierge and onsite security.

New public realm and green spaces at ground level will provide new walking and pedestrian routes, as well as community facilities, including retail and leisure units, at the former brownfield site, which has been undeveloped for more than 50 years.

Paul Bashir, Chief Executive Officer of Harrison Street’s European business, said, “We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Apache, a leading investor in the premium UK build-to-rent space and Moda, a leading developer in the UK and pioneer in the build-to-rent sector, to bring this development to Birmingham. The Birmingham market is backed by strong demographics, with the greatest concentration of businesses outside of London and home to many leading universities. This transaction underscores our continued efforts to invest in premium BTR assets in leading markets across Europe.”

John Dunkerley, CEO at Apache Capital, said, “Today’s announcement – the largest regional build-to-rent funding deal to date – underlines our conviction in build-to-rent as a major institutional asset class. It also demonstrates the enduring appeal of our highly amenitised, highly serviced model, which has been proven by the success of our first Birmingham asset, The Mercian. In Harrison Street, NFU Mutual and Moda Living, we have a set of experienced partners that have helped us build a market-leading platform and we are pleased to have expanded it with this transaction.”

Johnny Caddick, CEO at Moda Living, said, “This is a huge moment for Moda Living, securing what is the market’s largest ever regional deal for a BTR asset. It’s testament to the teamwork of our team and partners Harrison Street, NFU Mutual and Apache Capital that have worked tirelessly to overcome multiple headwinds and get this over the line. Birmingham is a key city for Moda and another scheme with all the fundamentals that create an incredible place for residents to live. We look forward to working with Harrison Street, Apache, Birmingham City Council and other key stakeholders to get this fantastic project out the ground.”

Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council, said: “This is a hugely exciting project, breathing life and community back into a key central site which has been unused for more than 50 years. Moda’s development at Great Charles Street will deliver much-needed new homes to Birmingham and will be central to the ongoing transformation of the city centre. I look forward to working with Moda, Harrison Street, NFU Mutual and Apache Capital as they deliver this exciting new chapter for the Jewellery Quarter.”

Will Jordan, Partner at Knight Frank, said, “This is a landmark deal for the UK’s BTR market. As the biggest agreement ever signed outside of London, Moda, Harrison Street, NFU Mutual and Apache have blazed a trail in what is a huge show of confidence for a market that continues to go from strength to strength despite challenging economic headwinds. We’re delighted to have advised the parties to help them reach this fantastic milestone, and we look forward to seeing Great Charles Street delivered in what will be a majorly beneficial addition to the Birmingham skyline.”

Tom Bostock, property investment manager at NFU Mutual, whose headquarters are in the West Midlands in nearby Warwickshire, said, “We are pleased to expand our build-to-rent joint venture with Apache Capital and Harrison Street. High quality, purpose-built rental accommodation such as our Great Charles Street development provides long term steady income streams while helping major cities like Birmingham attract and retain talent. The regeneration of the site is underpinned by an intense focus on ESG that is in line with our corporate vision, illustrated through the socio-economic benefits for the local community and a wide range of carbon cutting measures at the construction and operational phase.”

Harrison Street’s European strategy encompasses alternative investments in student accommodation, senior housing, build-to-rent residential, and life sciences real estate. The Firm’s build-to-rent experience in Europe includes 16 assets totalling approximately 5,650 units across the UK, Spain and Ireland. The portfolio includes eight assets in the UK with over 3,000 residential units developed to date in partnership with experienced local developers and operators.