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    Blog by Nathan Cornish

    Continuing our run of acquisitions

    11 February 2019
    A 5 minute read by Nathan Cornish

    We’re in the midst of a busy development pipeline, continuing a run of 16 new acquisitions and undertaking new developments like Wirral Waters in Merseyside, where we’re working in partnership with Peel to deliver 347 modular homes.

    Wirral Waters is just one in a number of recent new development announcements for us – 2018 was filled with them.

    Masterplan image for Campbell Park, Milton Keynes

    In February, Urban Splash – in joint venture partnership with Places for People – was appointed as preferred developer for the development of Campbell Park in Milton Keynes. Our first scheme in the South East, it will comprise around 500 homes.

    Crabtree Lane, Manchester

    Then in July, we announced that we’d acquired the 28,500 sq ft Crabtree Lane industrial unit – as well as 3.48 acres of land around it – in East Manchester; following our trend of quick paced purchases, the deal was completed in just 24 days.

    Masterplan for Port Loop, Birmingham

    Also in July we drew down the first development plot at Port Loop in Birmingham and we then launched the first homes for sale in September, which we are delivering with joint venture partners Places for People alongside land owners Canals & Rivers Trust and Birmingham City Council.

    Site of former Regiment pub in Castlefield, Manchester

    This run of new developments and acquisitions began back in October 2015, when we purchased off-market 4 Canal St in Manchester from private vendors. A fully-let, 19,000 sq ft commercial building bought in partnership with Pears Group using internal resources.

    We soon followed it with the acquisition of the former Regiment pub site in Manchester’s Castlefield - a scheme which has planning permission for 44 apartments - from major listed developers. The off-market transaction was completed in just 10 days.

    Art gallery in Walsall by 2016 Stirling Prize winner Caruso St John

    In December 2015, we purchased a plot of land to the south of the Walsall Canal, adjoining the award winning, new art gallery by 2016 Stirling Prize winner Caruso St John.

    Phoenix Mill in Ancoats

    And other commercial acquisitions came in the form of Phoenix Mill in Ancoats...

    64 Oldham Street, Manchester

    ...closely followed by the Church Inn in Hulme and 64 Oldham St in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, all acquired for cash on behalf of investment partner TBI2000 Investments.

    Civic Centre in Plymouth

    Meanwhile, we were given a chance to extend our work in Plymouth - where we’ve converted Royal William Yard into a great place to live and thriving tourist destination - by acquiring the city’s Grade II Listed Civic Centre from Plymouth City Council. Designs are currently being worked up for the building and we hope to submit planning in early 2019.

    Barton Business Park, Eccles

    Back in the North West, we had a successful run of Summer acquisitions, first of all taking on the Barton Business Park in Eccles; an industrial investment on a 2.6-acre site acquired in a cash purchase by Urban Splash.

    Town House at Irwell Riverside

    We also purchased four acres of land from Salford City Council on the banks of the River Irwell where we have just completed 72 Town House’s at Irwell Riverside.

    Boat Shed at Salford Quays, transformed by Urban Splash

    And soon after, again with our JV partner Pears, we acquired the 46,000 sq ft Office Village, now Boat Shed, at Exchange Quay in Salford Quays for refurbishment and investment. The scheme was acquired from a major fund in a deal completed in just five working days.

    Avro lofts at Brownsfield Mill

    Late in 2016, we acquired Brownsfield Mill in Manchester from Town Centre Securities which will be redeveloped as Avro as part of the broader Piccadilly Basin regeneration plans. One of the last untouched mills, we’re hoping to create the city’s biggest apartments there - with hopes for lofts of up to 4,000 sq ft!

    Beehive Mill in Ancoats

    Then in early 2017, we purchased Beehive Mill in Ancoats from a major London fund – with the deal taking just nine days from offer to completion. We’ve since invested in creating new workspaces within Beehive Mill – notably signing the Prince’s Trust on a 10,000 sq ft space.

    Wirral Waters in Merseyside, part of our joint venture with Peel

    So what next..? Well, we’re still aggressively on the lookout for new buildings, investment properties Brownfield sites that we can turn into contemporary spaces where people can live, work and play so get in touch if you wish to discuss a prospective development by emailing us on developments@urbansplash.co.uk.

    All the properties we’ve acquired in recent years were completed on the offer terms initially agreed, using internal resources and without bank debt; something which allows us to act decisively and quickly.

    We’ve created more than 4,000 homes and 2 million sq ft of workspaces in the past 20 years; here’s to creating many more.

    About the author

    Nathan Cornish

    Group Director

    Nathan has been with Urban Splash since 2002 and has been responsible for the delivery of some of our iconic regeneration schemes at Fort Dunlop, Rotunda and its ‘upside down’ houses in Salford. Whilst still retaining responsibility for high profile developments at the Royal William Yard in Plymouth, and New Islington, Manchester his role now also includes overseeing the groups £100m Investment portfolio. He also oversees many of the group’s disposals and acquisitions.

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