A listed hospitality real estate investment trust (REIT) owned by Singapore-based CDL is investing in a UK build-to-rent (BTR) project as part of a new strategy.

CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT), which operates mostly hotels, has bought a site in Manchester and will forward fund its redevelopment into a £73.3m (€85m) apartment complex.

The Castings project, which will have 352 apartments, is expected to be completed by 2024.

The transaction paves trust’s entry into the UK BTR market, and more significantly, pivots away from hotels into “adjacent lodging space”.

Vincent Yeo, CEO of CDLHT’s managers, said the project marked the REIT’s “maiden foray” into an adjacent lodging space.

Yeo said the trust was now executing its revised “principal investment strategy” to look for growth in a wider “addressable market”, like BTR and student housing. “We aim to achieve both enhanced income stability and asset class diversification,” he said.

CDL did the deal with a joint venture company owned by Fiera Capital Corporation and Packaged Living, a business established for the direct investment and development of BTR assets across the UK.

To read the digital edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.