Watkin Jones, a developer and manager of residential rental homes including purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), co-living and Built to Rent has announced it has received resolution to grant permission for a 370 bed PBSA scheme in the heart of Swansea. This is the company’s second scheme in the city.
Watkin Jones acquired the site in April 2021. The £35m GDV development is designed to be sustainable and future proofed, targeting a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating. The soft landscaping of the wider site will also add to the urban biodiversity of the area. It’s also expected to add over £24m GVA to the local community over the next ten years, with residents estimated to spend approx. £6.2m annually in Swansea’s city centre. The brownfield site, next to Swansea railway station, is within an easy walk of the city’s universities and previously housed the Valuation Office Agency.
The new scheme is due to be completed in time for the 2023/24 academic year. Once completed, residents will have access to a range of amenities including resident courtyards. There are also stunning views from the roof terrace and their windows looking out over the city to the sea.
“Swansea continues to build its reputation as a destination of choice for students and I am thrilled to have received such strong support for this scheme. It will absolutely transform the site of a run-down office block into sustainable and high-quality homes for students, relieving pressure on local housing supply and offering a great living experience.
“PBSA remains a very strong asset class for investors both from the UK and internationally. This is driven by rising demand and, as A-level results day approaches, we expect to see students and their families seeking out the best purpose-built and managed accommodation for its inbuilt community and wellbeing support.”Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer, Watkin Jones
Following a recent boom for Swansea universities, this development will add much needed student housing capacity in the city. Swansea University student numbers have increased 11.5% over the last three years, while students from Trinity St David’s University have increased by 47.9%. UCAS recently reported an overall increase in student applications for September 2021.