Real estate investment management firm MARK has entered the UK build-to-rent (BTR) market through a partnership with developer HUB.

The two companies said they have partnered to buy 2 Snow Hill Plaza in Birmingham from a global institutional investor, with a plan to develop a build-to-rent scheme.

The existing building, which has been vacant for more than a decade, will be redeveloped into homes for rent alongside a new public realm, mixed ground-floor commercial space and on-site residents’ amenities.

The deal is HUB’s second project in Birmingham and represents MARK’s entrance into the UK BTR market as part of the manager’s strategy to diversify and grow its residential exposure.

In September last year, MARK announced a partnership with Credit Suisse Asset Management to buy and manage residential assets in Europe as the companies teamed up to create the Doma platform to target an initial portfolio of €250m by gross asset value across Germany and the Netherlands.

The Doma platform – which intends to buy and manage small-scale city centre residential assets – was seeded with 700 units under management. The plan is to expand the portfolio to hold €1bn worth of assets across Europe, the companies said at the time.

MARK also previously created Meyer Homes, a build-to-sell residential platform that acquired 13 sites around Greater London.

Commenting on the latest partnership with HUB, Lily Lin, MARK’s UK & Ireland managing director, said: “Residential for rent forms a key part of our multi-platform strategy, as we look to grow our presence in asset classes that are underpinned by long-term structural growth drivers and have demonstrated resilience during the pandemic.

“This acquisition will be the first of many as we look to create a wider UK build-to-rent platform that complements our existing residential strategies.”

Tom Starkey, acquisitions manager at HUB, said: “Following a successful 2021 in which HUB completed four acquisitions, we are carrying this momentum into 2022 with our first deal with MARK. We hope to build on this relationship with further acquisitions in the future.”

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