Downing First Street

Construction News , Current Developments , Development News , Large , Manchester , Office and retail 31 January 2023


By Rebecca Maher

Downing Living has received a £227 million four-year whole-loan facility from real estate development lending platform, Precede Capital Partners, in partnership with global financial services group Nomura.

The facility will be used to finance the construction of Downing’s £400 million First Street development in Manchester.

The regeneration project in the heart of Manchester city centre – overlooked by the Mancunian way – will deliver a community-centric development across three new buildings rising to 45 storeys.

Precede Capital Partners and Nomura’s ESG due diligence rated the project highly due to Downing’s leading sustainability ambitions. The development will have heating provided by air source heat pumps, EV charging points and rooftop solar PV provision.

Downing Living is implementing a strategy for the asset to be net zero by 2038 depending on the extent of grid decarbonisation and connection to the Civic Quarter Heat Network, meaning it will be compliant with ‘net-zero ready’ requirement as contained in the Future Homes Standard.

The First Street development will include more than 1,790  bedrooms split across a mix of accommodation types and price-points, ranging from private studios to five-bedroom apartments, as well as conventional one and two-bedroom apartments.

Downing will construct and manage the property with completion of phase one scheduled for August 2024, with phase two scheduled for delivery in March 2025.

George Downing, founder of the Downing group of companies, which owns Downing Living, said: “We are delighted to be working with Precede Capital and progressing another landmark scheme for the city of Manchester. Our First Street development will complete the long-awaited transformation of a key site at the southern gateway to what is one of Europe’s most exciting and progressive cities.

“First Street itself is part of a wider story of investment and confidence in Manchester, a future-proofed ‘15 Minute City’ where we will offer brilliant options to live, work and play on your doorstep.

“We have an excellent track record, working closely with the council, to deliver transformational city-centre regeneration schemes.”

David Jerrard, Chief Credit Officer at Precede Capital, said: “We are delighted to have closed this financing for a high-quality asset and to have provided the Downing Living team with the certainty and backing required to deliver an important project that will help meet the sustained demand for co-living schemes in this market. We are also particularly pleased to have closed our inaugural deal in the north of England, an important milestone which is testament to our team’s extensive industry relationships and our ability to identify and transact on high-calibre opportunities across the UK.”

Zhuu Ming Ang, Co-Head of EMEA Real Estate Financing at Nomura, said: “We are pleased to partner with Precede Capital and QuadReal Property Group to finance the Downing Living development. This will help address the significant undersupply of residential units in the city of Manchester especially for underserved single households.”





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