Moda is to redevelop a former police headquarters into a £105m development of homes built specifically for rent in one of the UK’s most significant post-Brexit property deals.

Moda has engaged award-winning HAUS architects and will revamp Strathclyde Police’s former HQ into Scotland’s first major build to rent development.

The developer and operator of private rented housing will transform the full city block complex on Pitt Street creating 365 apartments with over 20,000 sq ft of ancillary ground floor space. The building will include cafes, restaurants, workspace and gardens, creating a ready-made community for residents.

Residents will enjoy a wealth of shared facilities and amenities that Moda is offering across its portfolio in a bid to overhaul the way people think about renting.

The site acquisition is a major demonstration of confidence in the Scottish rental market. It is one of the largest post-Brexit property deals to take place not just in Glasgow city centre, but across the whole country.

The development will be a stone’s throw from the Royal Concert Hall and Glasgow’s ‘theatreland’ district. Moda will be working closely with city planners to create a new vibrant cultural quarter.

Unlike other housing developers, Moda will retain ownership of the properties and operate them only for rent. Moda aims to build lasting communities through shared facilities and onsite management who activate the spaces and run weekly events.

The scheme, designed by local architects HAUS-Collective, is Moda’s first in Scotland. It will replace the existing building with a modern and extensive multi-building development complete with carefully detailed public realm.

Once finished, a range of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments will be on offer, together with a mix of on-site amenities including a gym, cinema room, meeting rooms and residents’ lounge. Outdoor gardens and barbeque areas with recreation spaces will be provided on the rooftops and across the complex.

The Pitt Street offices, built in 1924, were previously home to Strathclyde Police, which was the country’s largest force from 1975 until the merger of the eight Scottish Police Forces in 2013.

This is the latest in a trio of announcements following Moda securing planning permission for the £82m 304 apartment tower dubbed ‘The Lexington’ in Liverpool as well as plans to transform a 0.77-acre site in Birmingham city centre into a £145m premium rental development of 450 apartments and 60,000 sq. ft. of tenant amenity and commercial space. Both will be fully funded by Apache Capital.

Moda has to date secured a PRS development pipeline of over 5,000 apartments with an end gross development value of  more than £1 billion. Schemes are planned in other prime city centre sites such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, London, Manchester and more. Moda continues to actively seek sites across the UK aspiring to become a nationwide market leader in the sector.

Early support and strategic input on the disposal was provided by the Scottish Futures Trust.

Ryden advised the SPA and Police Scotland on the marketing and sale of the Pitt Street site. Moda was advised by CBRE.

Oscar Brooks, head of acquisitions for Moda, said:

“The old Strathclyde Police headquarters is a fantastic site right in the heart of Glasgow, and matches our vision of delivering high-quality housing for rent in city centre locations across the United Kingdom.

“As an investor, developer, owner and operator we are here for the long-term and aim to knit ourselves into the city’s fabric. We are excited to be working with Glasgow City Council in delivering high quality homes, which help meet a pressing need for decent rental accommodation.”

Website: www.modaliving.co.uk

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