A former insurance building on the Thames in Reading is to be converted into around 234 Build-to-Rent flats.

Norman Place in Vastern Road, the former home of Covéa Insurance, has been acquired by Packaged Living and Bridges Fund Management.

The buyer plans to incorporate sustainable materials in the development to reduce embodied carbon and provide social amenity spaces. Normal Place backs onto the Thames between Thames Water’s Clearwater Court and Sovereign House and is a short walk from Reading station.

Guy Parkes, agency partner for vendor Covéa Insurance, said: “This is a well-known property in a prime spot along the Thames path and one of the first sites to be seen when exiting the rail station.”

“Now it is to get a new lease of life as Packaged Living and Bridges transform the site into up to 234 BTR residential apartments. 

“We were particularly impressed with the way the purchaser’s credentials aligned with our client’s values and our own – particularly around environmental and social responsibilities.

“The town centre retail and leisure amenities are a five-minute walk from the site and there are fast links via both overground rail and the Elizabeth Line tube to London Paddington (27 mins), London Bond Street (35 mins) and Heathrow Airport (48 mins).”

Covéa Insurance is to donate surplus furniture and equipment from the building to a charity to help furnish schools in Africa.

Ed Ellerington, founder and chief executive of Packaged Living, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Bridges to redevelop this obsolete office building into an institutional-grade BTR scheme, which in turn will encourage more young professionals into the town supporting its economic growth. 

“Reading has seen unparalleled growth over the past few years, with surging demand for new good quality homes and a limited supply within the town centre. 

“Norman Place, located on the waterfront with vistas over Christchurch Meadows, is a fantastic canvas to create a standout place for people to live close to local employment and the wider amenities of the town.”

Hollis Hockley advised the buyer.

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