Nikal, Grainger in deal for next stage of £350m plan

Exchange Square 2 in Birmingham

Manchester-based developer Nikal said it signed contracts with Newcastle-based Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, for the delivery of a 375-home private rented sector (PRS) development at Exchange Square 2 in Birmingham.

Exchange Square Phase 2 is the next phase in Nikal’s £350m urban village. Phase 1, comprising 603 build-to-rent apartments, was completed last November.

Grainger’s new development at Exchange Square, designed by Stephenson Studio, is located opposite HS2 Curzon Birmingham.

“The forthcoming arrival of HS2 Curzon Birmingham means that Exchange Square will become an important visual landmark, welcoming hundreds of thousands of people to the city every day,” said Nikal.

Andrew Saunderson, Director of Investments at Grainger, said: “We are delighted to progress on our Exchange Square development, our second Build to Rent scheme in Birmingham.

“The Exchange Square location makes it attractive and convenient for renters in the city, and we look forward to seeing this landmark scheme progress.”

The formal completion of the agreement concludes the appointment of leading design and build specialist McAleer & Rushe as main contractor.

Works commence on site this week, with completion scheduled for Summer 2023.

Grainger’s development, along with half-an-acre of new public realm known as Exchange Square, will form the first stage of works on the last phase of this development. 

A second stage will deliver a 15-storey 235-bed Premier Inn Hotel and 6,000 sq ft Bar+Block Steakhouse Restaurant, both pre-let to Whitbread, and 7,500 sq ft of high-quality retail space.

Nikal co-founder and MD Nick Payne said “We’re so proud of what we have achieved to date in Birmingham.

“We started with dreams and derelict land, and to see ambitions transformed into thriving busy communities that people can call home is why we do what we do.

“This next chapter in our Masshouse story is our most ambitious to date, and we could not have asked for a better partner in this project than Grainger.

“Their foresight, passion and dedication to creating a sense of place and community, whilst providing high quality homes for all, is admirable.”

James Mannix, Head of Residential Development at Knight Frank, said: “This deal is a huge vote of confidence for the BTR sector and for Birmingham.

“Nikal is emerging as a key delivery partner for this sector and Grainger is continuing to curate one of the best institutional grade rental portfolios in the country. 

“Knight Frank research shows that through careful and considerate tenant care during this crisis that institutional landlords have continued to collect close to normal levels of rent through the period.”