Student accommodation specialist seals £73m deal for London project
Bristol-based Unite Students has completed the acquisition of an office block in East London for £73m.
The existing office building in Stratford has full planning consent for a 36-storey scheme, providing 716 beds for students.
The development in Farthingale Walk will also include 65,000 sq ft of academic space, which will be occupied by the London Academy of Excellence (LAE) for an initial 35-year term, through the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Work is expected to begin on the scheme in the second quarter of the year, with total development costs estimated at £185m.
The student accommodation element of the scheme is scheduled for completion in time for the 2026/27 academic year.
The accommodation is being delivered as a university partnership, with the majority of the beds to be let to a London university under a deal known as a nomination agreement.
London, which is home to over 300,000 students, hosts three of the world’s top 25 universities.
Unite Students is the UK’s leading student accommodation operator.
It currently operates just over 12,500 beds in London and partners with leading universities to ensure around half of those beds are guaranteed through nominations agreements.
Joe Lister, Unite Students’ Chief Financial Officer, said: “This is an exciting opportunity in a great location, where we already provide homes to over 2,000 young people, and underpins our ongoing commitment to help meet London’s much-needed student accommodation demands.
“We are also proud to support a new collaboration with the London Academy of Excellence. Complementing our own values, the LAE is dedicated to supporting students, particularly those from less-advantaged backgrounds, in securing places at some of the UK’s best universities.”
Unite Students acquired Jubilee House from Schroders Capital UK Real Estate Fund (SCREF).
Rob Cosslett, fund manager for Schroders Capital, added: “We are delighted to complete the sale of Jubilee House to Unite, following the combined efforts of our team and development partners to secure planning permission at the site, alongside an agreement for lease with the London Academy of Excellence.
“The conversion of Jubilee House into student accommodation is set to be an exciting project which perfectly suits the needs of the surrounding community.”