Greystar buys Nine Elms site from Royal Mail for £101m

A former postal sorting office by the River Thames in south London is to be transformed into nearly 1,000 flats for rent after the Royal Mail sold the 14-acre site for £101 million.The former mail centre in Nine Elms that closed in 2012 has been bought by Greystar, the American residential landlord that already runs 410,000 properties in the US and owns 60,000.The Nine Elms site is near the new US embassy as well as Battersea Power Station, which is being redeveloped into luxury apartments, office space and retail space and is where Apple will have its UK headquarters.It was first put on the market by Royal Mail in 2014, suggesting that it has struggled to find a buyer.Demand for luxury flats in London has slumped and there are already plans for 20,000 homes on this stretch of the river between Vuaxhall and Battersea.

Greystar is planning for 894 apartments that will be built for rent rather than private sale and will be run by the company.It wants to boost its presence in the burgeoning build-to-rent sector in the UK, where large-scale developments are managed by one company rather than dozens of landlords.The schemes attract large investors, which like the steady income at a time when people are renting for longer in life before buying a home.