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Henderson Park and Hines announce forward fund of Barcelona PBSA development

Henderson Park and Hines announce the sale through a forward fund of its PBSA development in Barcelona, Spain.

Henderson Park, the pan-European private equity real estate firm, and Hines, the international real estate firm, announce that they have sold through a forward funding agreement the 743-bed purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) currently under construction in 22@Barcelona, the city’s innovation district, with further consideration dependent on achieving certain performance criteria. The project has been sold to Commerz Real Capital Management Company acting on behalf of the Commerz Real Institutional Smart Living Europe Fund.

Cushman & Wakefield and Garrigues advised Henderson Park and Hines on the sale of the property. Commerz Real AG, acting on behalf of their European Student Housing fund, was advised by Savills and Cuatrecasas.

Henderson Park and Hines acquired the project in August 2018 and have subsequently progressed the development which is on target to be operational in time for the 2022/23 academic year. Once complete, the accommodation will comprise 20,000 square metres above ground, and 6,079 square metres below, with capacity for 743 students. The project will be managed by Hines’ property management team – via its aparto brand.

“22@Barcelona is one of the largest urban regeneration schemes in Europe and is famed for innovation. We’re delighted to play our part with over 75,000 square metres under development across this dynamic hub with the student living project central to its genesis. Working alongside Henderson Park, we continue to focus on delivering these residences for the 2022/23 academic year and look forward to the ongoing property management of the site via our aparto brand.”

Vanessa Gelado, Senior Management Director and Country Head for Spain, Hines

The eight story PBSA building has been designed by architects Batlle i Roig, with 2,500 square meters of exterior gardens, 1,800 square metres of amenity space, and 900 square metres of roof terrace with the aim to achieve LEED Gold and WELL Platinum certification. Henderson Park and Hines will continue to develop the building until completion.

The disposal follows the €31m forward sale in November of a second project being developed by Henderson Park and Hines on the adjacent site. This transaction occurred after Henderson Park and Hines had fully let the project to the Toulouse Business School for 15 years as a purpose built 8,700 square metre educational facility, which is due to be delivered in the middle of next year. The new facility will serve as a campus for Toulouse Business School with capacity for 1,000 students.

The area benefits from a prominent position in Barcelona’s 22@ district and is 15 minutes’ walk from nearby university campuses. 22@Barcelona is one of the key innovation districts in Europe and is noted for its excellent connectivity to the rest the city, as well as being home to a host of successful regeneration projects.

Barcelona is a top 10 European student city and is home to eight universities, of which, four are public and four are private. Student accommodation in Barcelona is typically undersupplied with an estimated 8,700 operational PBSA beds and 165,000 students on an average year. The resulting provision rate of 5%, which equates to 19 students per available PBSA bed, signifies the need for more PBSA in Barcelona.

“We identified Barcelona as a market with highly attractive supply and demand dynamics for the student accommodation sector. Over the past few years since acquiring the site we have worked together with Hines to bring forward two first class institutional quality educational and residential assets. Our projects have made a positive contribution to the new 22@ innovation district in Barcelona, helping transform this neighbourhood into an international centre of educational excellence. 

“As the projects progressed, we received a number of offers for these assets with continued strong investor demand for high quality properties in these sectors. We took the opportunity to accelerate our business plan via these early disposals. This latest sale to a well-respected long term investor marks a highly successful conclusion of our investment into this project on behalf of our clients. Our ‘Living’ focused residential strategy remains one of our conviction calls and we will continue to look for opportunities in this sector.”

Nick Weber, Founding Partner, Henderson Park

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