GMI Construction Group PLC has reached the topping out stage for Derby’s first purpose-built Built to Rent (BTR) scheme which is under construction for St James Securities and Grainger plc as part of the Becketwell regeneration scheme.
The development, which features 259 one- and two-bedroom units, has now reached 11 storeys, which was marked with a topping out ceremony attended by representatives from St James Securities, GMI, Grainger plc and key stakeholders from across the city.
Construction work is progressing to plan with the building expected to be completed by March 2023.
The development is being forward funded and will be owned and operated by Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed provider of private rental homes.
The homes, which are being built on the site of the former Debenhams store on Victoria Street, form part of the first phase of the Becketwell scheme and will be adjacent to the new public square, which is the centrepiece of the development and will also be delivered as part of phase one.
The development, named by Grainger as The Condor, the famed Rolls Royce engine, will feature 2,962 sq ft of internal ground floor amenity space for residents, including a shared resident’s lounge and co-working space, in addition to 2,185 sq ft of external rooftop space with a terrace overlooking the new public square. In addition to a gym, secure car parking, bike store, and electric car charging points, residents will also benefit from complimentary superfast WiFi and the services of a dedicated onsite Grainger Resident Services Team.
Commenting on the progress, GMI divisional Managing Director Andy Bruce said: “Our team onsite at Becketwell have made huge strides since the start of the year and to be topping out today is a noteworthy achievement.
“You can see the development now really starting to take shape and bring the vision into reality. The regeneration of Becketwell is a land-mark project in Derby City Centre which once finished will create a brand new urban quarter and sense of place.
“GMI are proud to be playing a leading role within those plans and to further our excellent credentials in terms of city centre regeneration creating vibrant and attractive places to live and work and generating significant investment and job opportunities right across the regions in which we operate.”
Paul Morris, director of St James Securities, said: “More than five years since we first visited this much neglected site, we are delighted to see this landmark first phase of the development reach the topping out stage.
“The Becketwell regeneration scheme will be transformational – allowing hundreds of people to live in high-quality homes in the heart of the city and revitalising an area which has been challenged for many years.
“Alongside the apartments and public square that will make up phase one of the scheme, there will be wider development, including an exciting new performance venue, which will be developed by St James Securities and owned by Derby City Council and run by ASM Global, the world’s leading venue management and services company, and producer of live experiences.”
Helen Gordon, Chief Executive, Grainger plc, added: “This is a great milestone for our Condor scheme, which is Derby’s first Build to Rent development and a new city for Grainger. We look forward to seeing the works progress over the coming months as we prepare our inhouse team to launch and welcome our first residents – delivering high quality homes, a range of added value resident amenities and excellent customer service for renters in Derby.”
Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council, said: “Reaching the topping out ceremony in phase one of the Becketwell development is a real milestone, and we’re now well on the way to seeing the completion of what will be a truly transformative development for this part of the city centre. A site that needed regeneration will soon be a vibrant place that provides much-needed quality homes in the city centre.
“The plans for the wider development, which includes an exciting new performance venue, a hotel and offices, will rejuvenate our city centre – making it an attractive space that supports the local economy and increases investor confidence.”
Future planned phases of the scheme include a range of other complementary uses of the site that may include a hotel, multi-storey car park and purpose-built student residential.
It is also hoped that the substantial levels of investment proposed at Becketwell will provide confidence for further new investment in surrounding areas of the city centre. More than 2,000 jobs are expected to be created by the development.