Clyde Court is part of a wider scheme. Credit: via French PR

Developer seeks £130m for 1,000-bed PBSA portfolio

Yorkshire-based Urbanite Living has placed five projects in Russell Group university cities on the market as it looks to supercharge plans for Leeds’ Yorkshire Post site.

The purpose-built student accommodation developments, comprising a total of 999 bedspaces, are located in Leeds, York, Sheffield, and Glasgow, and are made up of a combination of existing operational assets and new-builds due to complete this year.

Gerald Eve has been appointed to find a buyer.

Prescient Capital, the Slaithwaite-headquartered private equity property investor, teamed up with Urbanite in 2021 with an aim of the JV building up a collection of 2,000 student bedspaces.

Urbanite said that the portfolio sale will allow it to recycle capital into its next wave of projects, including the £400m redevelopment of Leeds’ Yorkshire Post site.

At this high profile gateway site, Urbanite is currently exploring land sale and forward funding options to deliver up to 1,700 student beds and 348 build-to-rent apartments. A three-tower consent was granted almost a year ago.

The firm said that the combined PBSA estate is currently achieving a rent roll of more than £7.5m, with more than 50% of the beds already under at least three-to-five years nomination agreements with local universities.

The portfolio includes:

  • The Coal Yard in central York, already operational with 189 en suite cluster & studio units
  • The Leatherworks, Leeds, providing 460 cluster bedrooms within close proximity to both universities
  • 26 Great George Street, Leeds: currently under construction to provide 54 studio bedrooms in the city centre by the end of 2024
  • Electric Press, Sheffield: described as an exceptionally well-connected development of 125 cluster bedrooms, along with two studio flats
  • Clyde Court, Glasgow: currently under construction, this will provide 169 studio bedrooms as part of a wider city centre riverside redevelopment scheme.

All five have the facilities the market expects: study lounges, cinemas, gyms, onsite cafes, social media studios, gaming lounges and tech-enabled meeting rooms.

Urbanite said it has committed to enhancing its developments with energy-saving monitoring equipment and has installed 250kwp of rooftop solar over the past 12 months, generating over 15% of the portfolio’s annual electricity requirements.

Urbanite was founded by Daniel Newett and Timonthy Smith in 2017.

They said: “We are excited to bring this portfolio to market after five years of regenerating disused properties or land. Our investments have been well considered in providing much needed purpose-built student accommodation in prime locations where demand consistently outweighs supply.

“Urbanite is a young and dynamic team, always poised with the capital support, to deliver sustainable real estate with long term value.  We are looking forward to selling this prime investment opportunity to support our next series of exciting development projects.”

Alexander Kitts, associate partner at Gerald Eve, said, “We are pleased to represent Urbanite in marketing a very strong portfolio of assets in key performing university cities of international repute.

“The student housing market is highly resilient as demonstrated by its counter-cyclical nature with student numbers growing at record rates across the nation. Subsequently, PBSA is underpinned by a strong occupational market, which continues to attract a wide range of investors.”

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