HUB and Bridges acquire key site in Leith, Edinburgh

Residential developer HUB and Bridges Fund Management, a sustainable and impact investor, have acquired a significant 2.6-acre site on Baltic Street, in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith.

Located at the former site of Leith Gas Works, the site is one of the most significant in the area, sitting at a key point in the historic town centre, which was last week named the 4th coolest neighbourhood in the world by TimeOut.

The site has an existing planning permission for a student residential development, secured by vendors Sundial Properties and local architects Michael Laird Associates. HUB intends to reconfigure the proposal to deliver a residential-led scheme, comprising of Build to Rent apartments with a variety of mixed commercial uses at ground floor level. HUB will work with the Council and local stakeholders to build upon the existing consent, maintaining the established design narrative, whilst enhancing the proposals to deliver a residential scheme that maximises the site’s potential.

This is the ninth deal on which HUB and Bridges have partnered and builds on their successful track record of delivering well-designed, community-focused residential schemes.

The deal is HUB and Bridges’ second acquisition in Edinburgh, following their recent purchase of the 1.5-acre Beaverhall site in Canonmills, where they are currently developing plans for a mixed-use scheme incorporating build-to-rent homes and affordable, contemporary studio space for the area’s local artistic community. The deal also continues HUB’s expansion into key cities across the UK, with schemes already underway in Leeds and Digbeth, Birmingham.

Building on HUB and Bridges’ strategy of delivering homes in well-connected locations, the site is ideally located adjacent to Edinburgh’s new Tramline extension, due to open in late 2022. The new route will connect the port in the east, through the city and to the airport in the west, meaning that residents at HUB’s scheme will have easy access to the heart of Edinburgh and beyond, whilst enjoying the lifestyle offering of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhood. Just five minutes’ walk from the waterfront, the site offers easy access to numerous independent shops, bars and restaurants, as well as music and arts venues.

Robert Sloss, CEO and co-founder of HUB, said: “As a resident of Edinburgh, I am particularly happy that HUB is further investing in our capital city. Leith is full of creativity and innovation, and exemplifies exactly what HUB is looking for in terms of ‘lifestyle’ locations. We look forward to bringing our proven experience in delivering beautifully designed, mixed-use schemes to this fantastic site, building upon the existing proposal to deliver a great new place to live. We are sensitive to the legacy of the historic gasworks and are excited to rejuvenate it into a modern living quarter for Leith.”

Simon Ringer, Head of Property Funds at Bridges Fund Management, said: “We are delighted to complete this second investment in Edinburgh, a city where there is strong demand for more high-quality, sustainable lower-cost homes. Leith is a really exciting area, and we want to create a development that complements this site’s rich heritage and benefits the local community.