Ground breaking at site of 515 apartment build to rent scheme

The first phase of work has begun on the site of a £300m development in central Leeds.

Moda Living alongside partner Apache Capital were joined at Leeds Playhouse by main contractor Caddick Construction, LeedsBID’s, Martin Dickson and performers from around the city to break ground at Moda’s New York Square development.

The official ceremony marked the start of work on site of SOYO’s redevelopment, which will transform the former Quarry Hill car park into a multipurpose neighbourhood including new homes, a hotel, public squares, a multi-storey car park and amenities.

Johnny Caddick

In a change from the more usual hard hat, hi-vis ground breaking ceremonies, Moda chose to celebrate the evolving community and strength of culture, art and music in this area.

It invited guests to enjoy live art from local street artist Jameson Rogan, a newly commissioned, moving spoken word performance from poet Mike Southwell and live music from Leeds College of Music’s Tom Beesley.

The ceremony follows the recently announced funding agreement between Apache Capital and LaSalle for a £96m debt facility and institutional investment for New York Square, LaSalle’s largest build-to-rent development loan.

Moda is a developer and operator of homes for rent, and Apache Capital is an institutionally-backed real estate investment business.

Designed by DLG Architects, New York Square will be home to 515 build to rent apartments across two C-shaped 16-storey blocks.

Chosen for their historical links to Leeds and Quarry Hill flats, the two blocks will be named Rhodes and Rockland.

Each block of flats at Quarry Hill was named after a local Leeds worthy including Joseph Rhodes, a well-known local painter and founder of an art school in the city, and Sir Charles Lupton, Lord Mayor of Leeds in 1915.

The Luptons owned an arts and craft stone-built house named Rockland, which was later transformed it into a home for orphaned children of service personnel killed in the First World War.

Additional services within the new apartments will include 24-hour hotel-style concierge and round-the-clock professional management all included in the rent with no deposits and no fees.

A special MyModa app will enable residents to report maintenance issues, communicate with the concierge, book events, and will even act as the apartment key.

New York Square will have a public courtyard in between the buildings and rooftop terraces overlooking the city centre.

Commercial units will be delivered on the ground floor, providing interest and activity at street level.

The development will host a variety of amenities, from shared lounges, flexible workspaces and a cycle hub, to health and wellbeing facilities through a partnership with digital wellness platform – hero, which will track and improve the health and fitness of residents, provide advice from experts across nutrition, fitness and mental health.

James Brining, artistic director at Leeds Playhouse, said: “Recognition of the value culture brings is such an important part of any city, and it is fantastic that the developers of Moda have embraced and celebrated this from the start.

“From this event to launch New York Square, bringing in amazing talent from Leeds College of Music, local artists, and hosting it at the Playhouse itself, to the buildings’ design, their purpose and even their names – everything links back to the incredible talent we have in the city. We’re excited to see what else is to come.”

Johnny Caddick, Caddick Group and managing director at Moda, said: “Moda breaking ground at SOYO is a huge milestone for both Moda and the new neighbourhood.

“Already home to a plethora of renowned cultural establishments such as Northern Ballet, Leeds Playhouse, Phoenix Dance and the BBC, our aim is to create high quality homes.

“As operators, our aim is to create a long-term community working with local businesses and partners to deliver engaging and inclusive environments for people to live, work and play.

“This is a real Leeds success story with the construction, development and operation being managed throughout by the Caddick Group. In total the Moda development will generate approximately 350 jobs for the city.”

John Dunkerley, co-founder and CEO of Apache Capital Partners, said:“Today’s ground-breaking follows our landmark funding deal with LaSalle and is a major milestone for Apache Capital as a business.

“New York Square is the third scheme to be delivered through our multifamily housing platform with Harrison Street and NFU Mutual, which remains the UK’s largest privately funded, and under the Moda Living brand will redefine what it means to rent in Leeds.

“Being the UK’s fastest growing city, with the largest financial and professional services centre outside of London and an emerging creative cluster around Channel 4, there is huge scope for high quality rental housing in Leeds and we look forward to seeing New York Square, which occupies a prime, central site, open.”

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