L&G buys Belfast BTR site from Watkin Jones

UK: Developer Watkin Jones has announced the forward sale of Loft Lines in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast to L&G and Clanmil Housing Association.

The development will consist of 627 BTR units and 81 social rent affordable homes — located on the riverside on Queen’s Island in the centre of the Titanic Quarter.

The project aims to further catalyse the regeneration of Queens Island — alongside helping to transform Belfast city centre living — bringing residential homes to the area and a significant boost to the local economy.

Watkin Jones will receive a total consideration of around £155 million over the course of the development, which has a GDV of £175 million.

The scheme is scheduled for delivery in the summer of 2026 and is expected to bring a margin in line with current target returns.

Mike Powell, head of BTR transactions at LGIM Real Assets, said: “We are proud to be making the largest ever private sector investment into housing in Northern Ireland. A long-term investment that will allow for the continued regeneration of the Titanic Quarter and crucially support the growing housing demands of the city.”

Alex Pease, chief investment officer at Watkin Jones, said: “We are delighted to have secured institutional investment from both L&G and Clanmil Housing Association for this landmark scheme in Belfast’s iconic Titanic Quarter. This is further evidence of the attractive investment and operational fundamentals of both Build to Rent as a sector and Belfast as a city and a good sign of capital markets re-opening.

“Watkin Jones has a strong track record of developing large regeneration sites and we are delighted to bring the first Build to Rent scheme to the city of Belfast. Titanic Quarter will develop an area that is steeped in rich history, transforming this brownfield site into a thriving place to live and acting as a catalyst for wider regeneration,” he added.

“We are very pleased to continue investing to support Belfast’s ambitions. The development is being brought to fruition by a true partnership approach between all stakeholders and funders and we are grateful for the genuine collaboration we have experienced with our partners. The scheme offers excellent employment opportunities with growth across many industries in the city. Belfast offers a wide range of shops, bars, and restaurants along with a thriving arts and music scene, making it a truly fantastic place to both work and live.”

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