Work begins in Cambridge on the UK’s first purpose-built ‘single family housing’ development of 373 rental homes at Eddington
Construction is under way in Eddington on 373 new family homes designed specifically for rent in a development described as the first of its kind.
A communal pavilion, gym, yoga studio, private dining room, bike workshop, cafe, games room, residents’ cinema and co-working space are also promised at the site by investor and developer Present Made.
It is working in partnership with the University of Cambridge, which is developing North West Cambridge, on the properties, known in the real estate industry terms as ‘single family housing’.
The concept, which emerged from the US, describes homes that are typically occupied by tenants who may be less transient than is usual in the rental market, and may have children attending local schools, for example.
Present Made, which has funding from one of the world’s largest real estate investors, Nuveen Real Estate, for the project, says the development is the UK’s first purpose-designed and built single family rental housing development and the first delivered in partnership with a leading university.
It will also be the first family rental housing scheme in Cambridge to offer on-site amenities and professional management.
Present Made – which is Apache Capital’s wholly owned single-family build-to-rent platform – says its team will offer around-the-clock resident support, be responsible for all maintenance and run a year-long calendar of social and wellbeing activities. These are expected to include zero waste pop-ups, cycling and running clubs, cultural celebrations, live music, art classes, cooking classes, charitable events and talks from inspirational people.
Alan Penfold, managing director at Present Made, said: “There is growing demand for high quality rental housing outside of city centres that provides both a lifestyle and a home, which we are looking to satisfy through Present Made, with Eddington serving as ‘proof-of-concept’ through the quality of its consumer offering.”
Matt Johnson, head of development for North West Cambridge at the University of Cambridge, added: “Eddington is an exemplary neighbourhood home to a growing and diverse community of residents, students, businesses and service providers. Through our work with leading development partners, we are continuing to deliver much-needed homes, across a range of tenures, which can support the continued growth of the Cambridge eco-system.
“Present Made will deliver high quality homes for rent providing residents with homes that support sustainable lifestyles, flexibility and choice. We look forward to welcoming the residents of Present Made to the community.”
Planning permission for the homes was granted in 2022.
Bennett Construction has been appointed as the main contractor and practical completion is expected in late 2025, with the Level 5 code for sustainable homes targeted to ensure the new homes are energy efficient and to minimise CO2 emissions. A ceremony to mark the start of construction was held last week.
Jasper Gilbey, head of housing, alternatives and strategic transactions at Nuveen Real Estate, said: “Single family housing remains one of our core investment strategies within the living space – underpinned by a chronic undersupply of high quality professionally managed rental accommodation.”
The university was granted outline permission for the wider 3,000-home North West Cambridge development in 2013. Eddington, at its heart, opened in 2017.