Riverside site bought for private-rental plan

Tue 11 February 2014, 4:59 pm

Regeneration specialist Sigma has agreed to buy part of the Barking Riverside site earmarked for 318 homes to add to its private-rented residential portfolio.

The deal follows a the creation of joint-venture between Sigma and Gatehouse Bank last year that could see around £700 million put into the development of up to 6,600 new rental homes for a private-rented-sector portfolio.

Sigma said heads of terms for the Barking purchase had an exclusivity period running until the end of March next year that allowed it “to acquire the site and develop four new apartment blocks comprising a total of 318 apartment homes, including a high percentage of three-bedroom family units”.

It said the overall delivery cost of the site was estimated to be in excess of £50 million.

The agreement between Sigma and Barking Riverside Ltd - a joint venture between the Greater London Authority and Bellway Homes - contains an undertaking to enter into a conditional contract by the end of May this year.

Sigma chief executive Graham Barnet said the deal marked the company’s first foray into the capital’s housing market.

"The inclusion of this site within our private rented portfolio begins to broaden our geographic presence as we aim to build a UK-wide private-rented residential portfolio,” he said.

“Barking Riverside is one of the largest and most ambitious development projects in the UK and we are delighted to be playing a small part in its delivery with such prestigious partners."

London mayor Boris Johnson said the deal with Sigma would see Barking Riverside reach the 1,000 home landmark. It has planning permission for 10,800 homes.

Sigma said it expected construction to commence in late 2014, subject to completion of detailed site acquisition agreements and funding arrangements.

It added that the construction-delivery timeframe was likely to be approximately 24 months.

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