Oval Real Estate has selected Locale to provide digital property management solutions across its UK real estate assets.
Locale will supply digital solutions for Oval’s sites across England, Wales and Scotland, where it partners with investors, landlords and the public sector to aid in regenerating spaces and places.
The partnership includes providing a platform for its flagship redevelopment scheme in Digbeth, Birmingham. The neighbourhood, rated earlier this year by The Times as one of the ‘best places to live in the UK’, is an exciting and ambitious project in Birmingham’s former industrial heartland, comprising commercial, residential, retail and leisure facilities.
A hybrid masterplan planning application for the long-term vision of Digbeth has been submitted to Birmingham City Council. Proposals include up to 3.8m sq ft of regeneration, including 2.2m sq ft of commercial space and 1,850 homes, provided alongside shops, restaurants, cafés and additional leisure facilities.
The Locale portal will serve Digbeth’s 400 current occupiers as well as future tenants as part of the proposed masterplan, connecting and streamlining its management processes such as deliveries and communications, which were previously a challenge for the site due to its geographical spread.
Occupiers will be able to securely track, trace and deliver post and parcels, be kept up to date with important site news, offers and promotions, and garner further guidelines in line with the pandemic.
Since its launch in August, the Locale platform at Digbeth already has more than 230 people signed up, with over 25% of its occupiers actively using it.
Jo Salmon, head of estates at Digbeth, commented: “Locale’s digital property management platform has allowed us to really streamline our existing processes such as tenant communications, reception services, deliveries, site visitors and building security. Being able to have this all housed on one platform has been really well received. The community aspect was particularly important to us as it’s something we’re very focused on here in Digbeth and has made such a difference in such a short time.
“The platform has made overall management of our sites much easier: the portal is easy to update, and we have been able to customise everything from the branding to the language used so it feels very ‘Digbeth’. Our tenants have fully embraced what it has to offer, with overwhelmingly positive feedback received.”
Guy Windsor-Lewis, chief executive and founder of Locale, said: “Working with Oval is an exciting new partnership and one we’re keen to foster as it acquires further developments around the UK. Our platform is ideal for their occupiers, creating communities where people live and work. This is especially exciting at Digbeth, where so many occupiers exist over such a large expanse; being able to bring them all together.”
Home to the iconic Custard Factory and Fazeley Studios, Digbeth is an established regeneration of the former industrial estate. Oval Real Estate acquired part of the site in 2017, and is currently working to transform Digbeth into a revitalised creative community over a period of 10-15 years.