The Challenge:

This 109,000 sq ft mixed-use gateway scheme in Reading was a complex multi-phased scheme requiring collaboration along with knowledge, expertise and innovative ideas that could deliver a pre-let development that would have a great return on equity invested.

Kier Property identified this 20.5 acre site as a strategic development opportunity that could bring employment, residential, leisure and small scale retail to this part of Reading. 

The Solution:

Delivering this significant retail and leisure scheme in a prominent location; adjacent to Junction 11 of M4, in close proximity to Green Park and The Madjeski Stadium was no mean feat. The fully integrated approach undertaken by the project team took months of careful planning from more than five parts of the Group.

Kier Property and Investec Structured Property Finance (Investec SPF) agreed an equity joint venture to purchase and fund the scheme. Following the purchase the residential land was sold to Bewley Homes for delivery and Kier Property completed a £40m forward funding deal with a client of Aberdeen Asset Management for the retail and leisure element of the pre-let scheme.

Several innovations were trialled during this project, including the use of an innovation seed fund, computer-vision combined with artificial intelligence-backed engine to objectively review on site progress and highlight potential risks to the real-time programme.

The Impact:

Reading Gateway is a fine example of how collaboration maximised with knowledge, expertise and innovative ideas can deliver a pre-let development resulting in a great return on equity invested. This scheme reflects the integrated offer Kier has to offer and the benefits it can bring.

The 85% pre-let space boasts household brands including Wren Living, Premier Inn, Costa, Beefeater and Burger King. The project also contributed to a total social value of £138m in the Reading area (data provided by the Kier SoCC) and generated 263 jobs. The innovative lightweight frame construction method used on the hotel was also featured in Construction News.

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