24 Jan 2023

Introducing HubCap, our low-carbon urban living venture

HubCap is a wholly owned subsidiary of HUB, set up to deliver low-carbon urban living projects in key UK cities. HubCap’s first projects are emerging models such as aparthotels and co-living. Carbon budgets will be low by prioritising the re-use of existing buildings, as well as optimising operational carbon savings.

Many of the schemes will be retrofits of buildings that are currently offices or other commercial uses, bringing vibrancy to corners of popular neighbourhoods which need reinvigorating.

HubCap has now officially launched with the acquisition of three sites in London’s Zone 1 and Edinburgh, with a combined total gross development value of circa £75m. The two Edinburgh projects are a former whiskey warehouse in Leith and printing press in New Town. The London site, located on Ludgate Hill, was previously a bank.

The business has strong growth plans for 2023 with an active pipeline of projects in central London totalling £155m. Other UK cities that HubCap is exploring are Brighton, Bath, Cambridge, Glasgow, Manchester, Oxford and York.

HubCap places great importance on design and continues HUB’s approach of championing diverse and emerging architects. For the first projects in Edinburgh, O’Donnell Brown, Glasgow-based and winner of HUB’s Archiboo design competition in 2020, has been appointed. The purpose-driven practise Holland Harvey has been appointed on the central London project.

Robert Sloss, CEO of HUB and HubCap, said:

“We recognise that uses of some city centre buildings are going to change and our BTR experience has shown the desire of people to live in vibrant urban environments. With HubCap, we will deliver much-needed low-carbon, short-stay urban living solutions – reusing and retrofitting where possible. Finding more sustainable approaches to development is an important growth area, with retrofitting at its heart, and we’re excited to be part of it.

Miles Keeley, who returned to HUB after three years at BlackRock to lead HubCap, said:

“HubCap is a hugely exciting prospect. We are primarily targeting sustainable conversions of urban commercial buildings that otherwise have a very limited, useful future life. Weak and changing occupational demand in certain sectors provides an opportunity for us to bring buildings back to life by repurposing them into alternative uses in greater demand. To assist in the success of our projects, we are partnering with best-in-class operators with high quality, design-led and sustainable operating solutions. We are seeing strong demand from investors in the kinds of low-carbon options we are pursuing with HupCap within the thriving short-stay living space.”

HubCap is actively seeking to acquire more sites in strong urban locations across the main UK cities.