Stephen Beech is capitalising on the growing demand for energy-efficient properties in Manchester’s rental market with the launch of his latest city centre development.
Stephen Beech of Beech Properties recently opened 90 Princess Street, which had been empty for 10 years before he bought it in 2013.
He has since transformed the building into 35 flats with commercial space on the ground floor and claims it to be the city’s first carbon-neutral apartment scheme.
The building is on track to achieve an outstanding environmental performance rating from BREEAM, the design and assessment method for sustainable buildings. It would the first apartment building outside London to achieve such a rating.
Mr Beech started his property business by renting to students in Rusholme and now has around 100 properties with 450 bedrooms in south Manchester; all include green technologies such as solar panels, air-source heat pumps and under-floor heating – benefiting both tenants and his company.
He is now focused on expanding his city centre portfolio under the Beech Holdings umbrella.
“Young professionals are crying out for energy-efficient rental properties in the city – Princess Street was 100% pre-let within a week from its launch to market,” said Mr Beech.
“There is a huge demand for high design, marble tiles, granite worktops and quality fittings etc, coupled with low carbon technology. Often bills are included in the rental price because the properties we build are so efficient to run.”
Mr Beech now has a further 10 empty buildings in the city centre in the pipeline to refurbish into eco-friendly apartments for young city professionals.
He said: “Our most recent purchase of 25-27 Cross Street in June will be our next project to launch as we benefit from permitted development rights to convert the building into affordable one-bed starter homes within nine months of acquisition.”
“All of our properties are centrally located – people want to live there,” says Mr Beech. “I think over the years we have demonstrated that we are able to bring previously derelict buildings back to life, which are environmentally friendly and at the same time, meet the needs of young professionals wanting to live in the city centre at reasonable rates.”
Mr Beech has hired the former director of corporate banking for RBS, David Potter, to help guide the company through its next phase of growth.