Leicester’s new apartment complex influenced by Premiership title
Leicester City’s historic Premiership title triumph was one of the factors that persuaded investors to develop a new £43m luxury apartment complex in the city.
A study by professional services company EY in 2016 found that the club’s against-all-odds success in May of that year had boosted the local economy by £140 million.
And, nearly three years on, the Foxes’ cup-winning glories are still contributing to the city’s development, with the team behind a new 297-home Build-To-Rent (BTR) scheme in Vaughan Way revealing it was one of the reasons they were attracted to Leicester.
The Wullcomb is an exciting development and Leicester’s first BTR scheme. It will set new standards in the city where Manhattan studios, one and two-bed apartments are complemented by social spaces, such as a rooftop terrace, with stunning views and wood-fired pizza oven.
London based Long Harbour entered into a joint venture agreement with Sowden Group in 2017, purchasing the site across from High Cross shopping Centre
Long Harbour’s director of real estate, Rebecca Taylor, explained why they believed Leicester was the ideal location for the development.
“Long Harbour and Way of Life adopt a research-led approach across our entire portfolio to inform our investment strategy. We looked at all of the 64 Primary Urban Areas across the UK and looked at key factors to rank these into our top 20 cities,” she said.
“This included measures like population growth, Gross Value Added (GVA) per worker, infrastructure and connectivity, retail performance and number of patents granted per 1,000 people.”
What came next was a more detailed look at the city’s economy, demographics, housing needs and culture.
“What we found was a city that is incredibly well connected, had seen recent investment prompted by the council’s Waterside Regeneration project, publicity around Richard III and also furthered by Leicester City’s win of the premiership. The city also has a young and diverse population, all supported by a local authority with a ‘can do’ attitude,” she added.
Research brought to light that the city had seen very little residential accommodation built in recent times and that quality was mixed, with smaller unit sizes than elsewhere in the country, little to no amenity space or service offering.
Adopting a fresh approach to BTR properties, Way of Life, who currently manage over 850 other homes in the UK, are focused on providing an exclusive and complete hospitality service.
When finished in the summer of this year, The Wullcomb will boast a dedicated team of on-site customer relationship managers and plenty of shared amenity space to build the ultimate sense of community.
Way of Life managing director Sowgol Zarinchang said the company was committed to building relationships with the wider Leicester community and explained how employing people from the local area and engaging with businesses had always been a big part of Way of Life’s agenda for Leicester.
“Part of our culture at Way of Life is to be a long-term player in the communities we operate in, rather than building and moving on. As part of this we have already been working closely with local initiatives and this month we are sponsoring the Leicester Mercury Business Awards.
“We are enlisting the help of local letting agents and have been forming relationships with some of the city’s biggest players, such as Curve Theatre, Mattioli Woods and IBM, so there is lots to look forward to.”
Hundreds of construction workers have been employed on The Wullcomb project and job creation will continue once the apartments open, with a number of roles and positions being made available.
Sowgol explained: “Recruitment for key roles is under way, all of which are being employed from the Leicestershire region. We will also be working with local contractors, such as cleaning companies and maintenance personnel.”
Way of Life will be running frequent free-to-attend events at The Wullcomb for customers. These are heavily steered towards wellbeing and include nutritional advice, topical speaking events and movie nights to get people out of their apartments and engaging with their neighbours.
The Wullcomb is currently preparing show apartments which when finished will be open for viewings. Despite the project still being under development, Sowgol, Rebecca and the rest of the Way of Life and Long Harbour team have already seen a great deal of interest on lettings from the local community.