Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson has advised Build to Rent (BTR) developer PLATFORM_ on development and funding arrangements for its 464-home residential project in Edinburgh for SEK 1.5 billion (£124.4 million) by European real estate firm Heimstaden Bostad AB.

Situated in the Bonnington regeneration area of the city – which will be connected to Edinburgh city centre by tram from 2023 – the site will comprise predominantly two- and three-bedroom homes and have a total of 325,000 sq. ft of lettable space, as well as a range of amenities including a reception and concierge desk, a gym, a co-working area and rooftop terraces with views over the Water of Leith and the neighbouring Pilrig Park.

PLATFORM_ was represented by WBD and Addleshaw Goddard, while Burness Paull acted as solicitors for Heimstaden Bostad. The contractor is Graham (John Graham Construction). WBD advised PLATFORM_ on all aspects of the real estate transaction via corporate sale, including a combination of share purchase agreement; development agreement; and asset management agreement.

Tom Willows (Partner, Real Estate), Paul Mason (Partner, Real Estate – Scotland), Tom Fitzpatrick (Partner, Corporate) and Iain Pritty (Legal Director, Corporate – England & Scotland dual qualified) led the WBD team which drew on its Scottish capabilities and multi-disciplinary offering, working across multiple jurisdictions (England, Scotland and Luxembourg).

Paul Mason, partner at Womble Bond Dickinson's Edinburgh office, commented:

“Supporting PLATFORM_ with this development funding agreement has enabled us to draw on our skills across multiple jurisdictions and disciplines to support a key project in this important regeneration area of Edinburgh."

Tom Willows, partner at Womble Bond Dickinson added:

“Being able to complete this deal in short time frame – from agreeing terms to closing the deal in just over 9 weeks – is an example of how WBD’s specialist build to rent and corporate real estate expertise combined with our multi-national reach can support large scale projects such as this.”

This is the ninth BTR development from PLATFORM_, which has developed and operated BTR properties across the UK since 2015.

The deal represents the second significant UK build for Swedish business Heimstaden and is structured as a turnkey forward-funded project to ensure the company carries no direct development risk. PLATFORM_ will act as developer on the project, as well as being retained as Asset Manager following completion of the development.

Jean-Marc Vandevivere, CEO of PLATFORM_ said: 

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Heimstaden and contributing our deep experience of Build to Rent to support their continued UK expansion. We’re looking forward to opening our Edinburgh scheme in 2024 to provide much needed housing in one of the most attractive cities in the UK.”