Atlas Residential is proving that experience accrued in the U.S. property market can be applied just as successfully in the United Kingdom, after announcing the completion of Phase II of the Bow Square residential development in Southampton, which will be handed over from developer National Regional Property Group, on 10 July 2018. Atlas Residential is the operating partner of Bow Square owner Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP (“Rockspring”), a PATRIZIA company.
Phase II of the Bow Square development features 102 apartments, along with a spacious residents’ lounge and kitchen, gym, yoga suite, community garden and underground parking. Atlas Residential will also be on site in a dedicated management office.
“We are delighted to be launching the second phase of Bow Square, which further raises the bar for Southampton’s urban rental community. Our work in partnership with National Regional Property Group and Rockspring has resulted in a Build to Rent scheme that provides superior homes for local renters. With a strong waiting list already in place, we anticipate excellent uptake for this new phase of Bow Square”, says Atlas Residential manageing director, Jonathon Ivory.
Phase I Fully Occupied
The 109 apartments that were completed during Phase I of the development reached full occupancy earlier this year, having proven popular with Southampton’s renters. The flexible, welcoming model has served a range of unmet local needs. One example is the 20+ per cent of Bow Square householders who own pets – which is often an issue for those in private rented accommodation.
Resident feedback from Phase I, which was the first Build to Rent development in Southampton, has been excellent and residents’ input has been valuable in the further development of phase II. The on-site amenities and community creation have worked particularly well, while Atlas’ commitment to customer service has resulted in particularly happy tenants.
“Our work at Bow Square is about building quality rental homes and creating a rental experience that surpasses everything else on offer. We put the customer first and model the development around their needs, giving them a home and community that they help define. That means superb customer service at every interaction, amenities that are truly useful and social spaces that come with a sense of belonging and community. We’ve expanded the community benefits with our Residents’ Club, offering unique relationships with local cafés, restaurants, bars and shops to our residents”, observes Atlas Residential UK director of portfolio operations, Stephanie Smith.
The £60 million Bow Square development is one of Southampton City Council’s VIP projects. It has turned a former fruit and vegetable market into a thriving local neighbourhood. In total, Bow Square will provide 279 one and two-bedroom homes, with the 68 apartments of phase III handed over by National Regional Property Group in the autumn.
Rockspring director Eric Linden attests to the transformative impact of Bow Square on the local area, when he observes, “what was once a set of dilapidated warehouses is now a modern and colourful development providing hundreds of new city-centre homes”, before adding, “We have been very pleased with the success of the first phase and are looking forward to a completed and fully occupied community in just a few months’ time.”
The launch of Phase II is particularly timely, with property website Home.co.uk reporting an exodus of landlords from the buy to let market, in the wake of changes to stamp duty and the offsetting of mortgage interest. The availability of rental homes has dropped by 12% across the UK over the past year, while the number of renters continues to rise, meaning that Build to Rent is becoming an increasingly important element of the UK’s housing mix. The sense of community that the model brings, as a result of being purpose-built for renters, is a key attraction for many tenants.
Based on its hugely successful operations in the US, Atlas Residential has built up a strong portfolio of Build to Rent homes in the UK. The company’s vision is to cater to ‘residents and communities’ rather than tenants and landlords. This ethos has brought about a step change in the style of rental provision on offer in the cities in which Atlas operates.