Downing secures big funding for First Street build

How First Street will look

Downing Living is to build a new residential block on Manchester’s First Street having secured a £227million facility from Precede Capital and Nomura.

Consisting of 1,790 units across three buildings, the First Street development will be targeted at new graduates and young professionals, with units ranging from studio apartments to five-bedroom shared accommodation. Liverpool-based Downing will also construct and manage the property. Completion of phase one is scheduled for August 2024, with phase two scheduled for delivery in March 2025.

The First Street development is fronted by the arts centre Home, next to the elevated train line between Deansgate and Oxford Road train stations, stretching back towards the Mancunian Way and Manchester Metropolitan University. Planning permission for the scheme was secured in 2021.

Downing have also been quick to boast of the scheme’s sustainability credentials, claiming the development will have heating provided by air source heat pumps, EV charging points and rooftop solar PV provision. Aiming for the block to be net zero by 2038 depending on the extent of grid decarbonisation and connection to the Civic Quarter Heat Network, thus in line with ‘net-zero ready’ requirement in the Future Homes Standard.

The facility, which is Precede Capital and QuadReal’s inaugural transaction, as well as Precede’s first development loan in the north of England and second jointly provided with Nomura, brings the total value of residential development loans completed by the firm to over £1.5bn.

This deal was arranged by Precede Capital since it announced its partnership with QuadReal and rebranded from Précis Capital Partners. The partnership saw QuadReal acquire a shareholding in the firm and commit up to £1bn to deploy into its development loans.

Precede Capital was advised by Taylor Wessing and Eversheds. Arcadis provided construction due diligence for the lenders, CBRE acted on the Valuation and Longevity Partners on ESG due diligence. Downing Living was advised by Hill Dickinson (banking legal), DLA (property legal) and Brabners (construction legal). Nomura was advised by Linklaters.

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