BTR provider Placefirst appointed to deliver 220 homes in Sunderland


Leading and award-winning build-to-rent (BTR) provider Placefirst is set to invest in the delivery of 220 homes across two major regeneration schemes in the city.

Placefirst has been appointed as Preferred Development Partner by Sunderland City Council to deliver 140 new homes at Farringdon Row, the second residential neighbourhood within the transformative Riverside Sunderland masterplan. The sustainable new community will benefit from views across the Wear and the regenerated Riverside Park and support the diversification of the housing offer and repopulation of the city centre.

Placefirst will deliver an exemplar BTR neighbourhood of high-quality energy efficient homes specially designed for long term rent. It will also feature a network of communal and public open spaces that will enhance connectivity throughout the new Riverside Sunderland community.

The project team will include locally based architects IDP, development consultants Identity Consult and landscape architects Southern Green.

A planning application is anticipated later in the year, with development planned to start in spring 2024.

Placefirst manage every aspect of their neighbourhoods, from the first rental enquiry through to fully maintaining each home with an on-site presence once complete. Residents at Farringdon Row would benefit from skilled, friendly in-house teams, and dedicated resident services managers.

Placefirst will also support Sunderland City Council and its partners in the funding and delivery of up to 80 homes at Nile and Villiers in Sunniside, which Placefirst will then own and manage. The scheme forms part of the Council’s City Centre Housing Ecosystem which received support from Round 1 of the Levelling Up Fund.

These two developments, part of Sunderland’s ambitious social and economic regeneration programme, will add to Placefirst’s strong portfolio of single-family rental homes across the North East which is growing at a fast pace. This includes the thriving community of 116 homes at ‘Scholars View’ in Hetton-le-Hole which completed in 2022, and ‘The Oaks’ in Esh Winning, Durham, where work is underway to build 89 new homes including 54 bungalows. Placefirst also submitted planning recently for its 146 home Benwell Dene neighbourhood in Newcastle.

David Mawson, chief executive officer at Placefirst commented: “We are excited to be working in partnership with Sunderland City Council on these projects and building on our existing track record of creating high-quality neighbourhoods in this region.

“The Riverside Sunderland masterplan is one of the most ambitious residential regeneration projects in the UK and Farringdon Row and Nile Villiers will play a big part in setting the standard for BTR developments throughout the North East. We look forward to progressing with the plans and bringing both these schemes to life, bringing much needed quality new rental homes to the area.”

Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “The rate of transformation at Riverside Sunderland is rapid, and reflects our determination and ambition to make this a world-class place to live, work and play.

“Building high-quality homes in exciting new communities is key to our plan for Riverside Sunderland, and we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Placefirst to bring forward the second residential scheme in this game-changing new urban quarter.”

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