Insight

Poplar Row social housing – client Bruce Zheng shares his IIP journey

26/08/2022
Poplar Row social housing – client Bruce Zheng shares his IIP journey

This summer, we took one of our IIP investors to visit our Poplar Row social housing project in Ireland. Poole House, a new five-storey residential building conveniently located in Dublin 3, was officially completed in June this year. Our client, Mr Bruce Zheng, was thrilled to see it. He and his family invested in the project back in 2019 before construction commenced in July 2020.

During Bruce’s visit to Bartra’s head office and the Poplar Row site, our China-based Irish colleague, Richard Lenehan interviewed Bruce, who now has the Stamp 4 visa as a local PR, which has been renewed successfully, and has received his investment principal.

“I am glad that I invested in Bartra’s IIP project back in 2019. Now I am able to be here and see the project in person, see that it’s built, looking great and I can touch it; it’s real.  That’s why I always love tangible assets,” says Bruce.

“I am happy to shout out to Bartra for anyone who’s looking for IIP investments. Bartra is the number one go-to company. The reason I chose this social housing project for my investment was because of Bartra’s track record and the principal repayment guarantee. I feel safe and secure with my hard-earned money.

“I also like the fact that the projects are either leased to or sold to a Local Authority or Approved Housing Body. All of these factors give me confidence in investing in Barta’s projects, especially given the shortage of housing supply in Ireland. And the money I put in can help the local community with more and better housing that also makes me feel proud of my investments.

“Some of my friends asked me why I chose Ireland. I think Ireland offers a wealth of opportunities for my family, not only is it an English-speaking country, which makes communication easier, but it’s also very well connected with EU countries, as well as the United Kingdom and the US, so we are able to access more resources and can choose to live in different places.”

Watch our interview with Bruce to learn more about his journey to Ireland and his experience with the IIP and Bartra.

Bartra social housing projects

Under its Housing for All policy, the Irish Government has clearly identified the need to increase the supply of both private and social housing as its number one priority, with a commitment to deliver in excess of 88,000 Social Housing Units from 2022 to 2030.

For Bartra, building new homes is a key part of our business. As well as providing more much-needed housing, our construction programme helps to create jobs and training opportunities, regenerate neighbourhoods and support communities across Ireland.

Andrew Ennis, Director of Investments and Structuring, says, “Our plan is to deliver at least 3,000 new homes between now and 2030, with our primary focus on the continued delivery of sustainable social housing. We want to build more homes for social and affordable rent and believe social housing – the right homes, in the right places – could play a bigger role in reducing the impact of the housing supply crisis.

“In addition to building our own homes, we are engaged in a series of partnerships with Approved Housing Bodies and the Irish State and will continue to build more homes in partnership with these organisations.”

IIP funding provides safe investments for IIP investors

Bartra’s Colmcille House, Stoneybatter social housing project, completed in 2021

The construction of Bartra’s social housing is funded by investors seeking to participate in the IIP programme.

Bartra intends to develop bundles of social housing projects where it already owns the site, to provide visibility to IIP investors on the nature of the projects that they are investing in.

Batra launched its social housing business in 2017 to assist the Irish State in the provision of much-needed family homes. Bartra has established a dedicated social housing team, which is tasked with identifying development and refurbishment sites suitable for social housing where Bartra can deliver attractive investment opportunities to investors. The Bartra team will focus on acquiring opportunistic sites, primarily in the Dublin area.

Bartra has progressed its social housing sites in line with the business plans provided to investors:

  • Bartra acquired a modern residential block comprising 27 apartments over five floors and a ground floor commercial unit on Pim Street in the heart of Dublin City. Refurbishment works to the value of €1m were completed in 2018 and this development is now fully let to Dublin City Council.
  • Colmcille House in Stoneybatter, a new development consisting of 23 apartments over six storeys located less than 2km from the city centre, was completed in 2021 and again fully leased to Dublin City Council.
  • Poole House in Poplar Row, a new five-storey residential building conveniently located in Dublin 3 close to the city centre, was officially completed in June 2022.
  • Construction is also underway on the 26-unit Clonross scheme in Blanchardstown and is about to commence on the 36-unit Clonliffe Road Scheme.

We continue to expand our social housing portfolios. One portfolio, consisting of four new sites – Old Navan Road, Clonliffe, Old Kilmainham and Broombridge – with a total cost of approximately €62.7 million, has already been fully subscribed.

Another portfolio, which consists of two new sites – Belmayne and Woodlands – with a total cost of approximately €36.2 million, is currently available for IIP investors.

Bartra Group CEO Mike Flannery says, “Bartra is fast becoming one of the largest providers of social housing in Ireland. We are committed to our projects’ quality, from location to architecture to build.”

At Bartra, we want to build more homes for the community and contribute to society by helping to reduce housing problems.