Funding was secured in 2023for the scheme. Credit: via Recognition

Ground broken on £50m York PBSA

GMI Construction has started work on developer Olympian Homes’ 275-bedspace Rialto House, named after the former cinema that once stood on the site.

Spanning 80,000 sq ft, the four-storey building in the Fulford area will provide 275 beds alongside amenities including a gym, yoga studio, games room, co-working spaces, group dining areas, integrated cycle parking, and landscaped courtyards – along with, fittingly, a cinema.

The Fishergate development includes the Rialto site and that of the former Mecca bingo hall next door, and lies a 10-minute walk from the city centre and seven minute bus ride from the University of York.

Rialto House is part of a UK purpose-built student accommodation portfolio being backed by investor Cain International, which in September last year secured the backing of Israeli insurance group Menora Mivtachim.

The site of the Rialto Cinema, which opened in 1913 and was demolished in 2003, is located within an area of archaeological importance and adjacent to the city’s core conservation area.

Consent was secured by Olympian, working with planner DPP and architect GWP, in February 2022.

GMI’s Hurcomb with William Sharpey, senior construction manager at Olympian and Steve Hornby, GMI project manager, Credit: via Recognition

Latterly the site of the cinema became a car park for the adjacent Mecca bingo hall, which was closed in March 2021 and has now been demolished.

GMI is busy in the PBSA market, with Rialto House bringing the number of student beds it is building in the city to almost 600.

This includes 303-beds at a scheme in James Street on behalf of York-based S Harrison Developments – funded by Q Investment Partners, this is currently under construction.

Andrew Hurcomb, GMI’s regional director for Yorkshire, said: “We are thrilled to begin construction on our ongoing collaboration with Olympian Homes to deliver a cost-effective, and sustainable design that helps address a shortage of student accommodation in York.”

James Lindridge, chief operating officer and development director at Olympian Homes, added: “We are delighted to have now made significant progress on such a landmark site within York.

“We would like to thank York City Council for their ongoing support in delivering the scheme, and GMI for their professionalism and deft in getting to this stage. We look forward to showcasing a best-in-class student product to assist with the undersupply of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation within York.”

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