Award-winning construction company, McGoff & Byrne, is set to launch into the Private Rented Sector (PRS) with its inaugural multi-million pound scheme in the North West.
McGoff & Byrne’s residential development arm of the business, Villafont Homes, has recently submitted for Planning Permission for a PRS scheme on Woden Street in Salford, with the ambition of leveraging the Group’s wider development, construction, asset management and operational expertise to create a revolutionary, market leading brand to be known as Downtown by Villafont.
The regeneration project will provide a total mix of 383 apartments, ranging from one, two and three bedrooms. The philosophy of the scheme is to provide rented accommodation built around the highest possible levels of service and energy efficiency, resulting in lower running costs for occupants.
There will be 24 hour concierge as well as dry and cold storage rooms, enabling supermarket deliveries around the clock. The onsite business centre, media room, spa and gymnasium will also provide enhanced facilities for residents.
The vision for Downtown by Villafont is to become a pioneering super Landlord whereby all apartments are retained for private rent. In doing so, McGoff & Byrne are responding to Government calls to expedite the delivery of new build housing for a new era of ‘Generation Rent’, where first time buyers are increasingly becoming shut out of the home ownership market place and forced into accepting a lower standard of accommodation than they aspire to.
In turn, McGoff & Byrne will be aiming to raise the bar in terms of quality and service offering within the rental sector. The single landlord approach will improve service delivery for all residents and the economy of scale and one stop shop approach will also create efficiencies, from not only design concept, but also in ongoing operation where lower running costs of each home will hopefully be realised.
Dave McGoff, Executive Director at McGoff & Byrne, comments: “There is a common misconception about the true nature of PRS with many developers claiming that they are building such schemes in the city, but often these are just projects sold to tranches of buy to let investors with no real long term focus on ongoing asset management and service provision.
“Inherently we have acquired the much needed skill sets to deliver superior PRS projects over many years, expanding the Group into different sectors which now involves us designing, building, operating and asset managing our own development-led Care Home company. We have added these complementary skill sets over the last five years to our business, becoming the largest privately owned Care Home operator in Trafford and are now looking to deploy these skills into our latest venture, aimed at improving the Private Rented Sector for good. We see this as a real game changer for enhancing the quality of the rental market place in general and our view is this is ideally achieved by an ultimate operator who has a stakeholder interest in every step of the process from concept to reality and beyond.”
The design and build of Downtown by Villafont will be undertaken by McGoff & Byrne, who in turn will also maintain the fully serviced apartment scheme through its Facilities Management Division.
In addition to the facilities already mentioned a strong focus towards the external public areas has been a conscious decision with outdoor kitchens and high grade, low maintenance garden areas providing a unique experience for the riverside setting. Security is also key with a secure under croft garage providing car parking and further opportunity for cycle and secure storage. All in all, Downtown by Villafont promises to provide pioneering Manhattan-inspired living solution for the rapidly expanding and increasingly aspirational rental community across a variety of UK cities.
The 0.72 hectares site is situated on the banks of River Irwell and as such, its prime location boasts a number of benefits including Salford City Council’s multi-million pound holistic regeneration of Chapel Street. The site is also located near to Manchester’s first ferry taxi service and the neighbouring footbridge provides a direct link into the historic Castlefield basin, Cornbrook Metrolink station and Manchester city centre beyond.
Dave continues: “Downtown by Villafont is a superb project in Salford. We are committed to delivering a new generation apartment scheme with integrated hotel services, and at the same time, retaining a legacy interest in the project to drive better living standards for the rental community.
“With the Government keen to target cities outside of London and with the ultimate reality that there will be more renters than homeowners in city centres, Downtown by Villafont is well placed and exceptionally designed to attract the Manchester and Salford aspirational rental audience.”
Construction at Downtown by Villafont will commence in 2015.