Heitman invests in trio of UK PBSA assets

Heitman LLC acquires a trio of UK PBSA assets for £70m in an off market transaction with student housing developer - Alumno Group.

The fully-occupied Alumno Falmer student accommodation asset which has been acquired by Heitman | PBSA News
The fully-occupied Alumno Falmer student accommodation asset which has been acquired by Heitman.

Global real estate investment management firm, Heitman LLC acquires a trio of UK purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) assets for approximately £70m – in an off market transaction with Alumno Group, a leading student housing developer based in London. The investments include one fully-occupied asset and two forward-funded developments – acquired by Heitman in connection with its global investment strategy.

The three assets – Alumno Falmer, Alumno Lewes and Alumno Leeds – are all well-located in close proximity to major universities and student populations.

“We are delighted to be working with Heitman and welcome the opportunity to build on our strong track record in the sector. Working with such a well-regarded and renowned international investment company is a significant milestone for our company and  we look forward to developing a long term partnership.”

David Campbell, Founder and Managing Director, Alumno

The fully-occupied Alumno Falmer asset includes 71 student beds and is in a strong micro-location. The PBSA is in walk distance to the University of Sussex and University of Brighton – main Falmer Campus. The Falmer scheme boasts a grand reception area, common room viewing space with sound systems, and well-manicured green space with a south facing deck.

The forward-funded Alumno Lewes asset will deliver 60 student beds in an established student area, well-located between the University of Brighton’s city campus and its Moulsecoomb campus – as well as various specialist colleges including the Film school. Once complete, the Alumno Lewes development will boast gallery space, a winter garden rooftop, terraced open space, a café and various social, recreational and study areas. The ground floor will be leased to a co-op convenience store.

“We are pleased to work with a top-tier developer such as Alumno Group on these high quality student housing assets. Importantly, despite Covid-19, purpose-built student accommodations remain in demand and has experienced steady occupancy gains each year since 2020 and we expect that trend to continue as students seek greater convenience and higher quality of life.”

Caleb Mercer, Managing Director of European Real Estate Investment, Heitman

The forward-funded Alumno Leeds asset is located on Whitelock Street and is near the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University. The new, amenity-driven development will deliver 411 student beds and will feature significant amenities including a rooftop gym, an outdoor exercise space, a cinema, private dining and study areas and a student lounge.

“With favourable supply and demand fundamentals, our investments in student housing assets across the UK further diversifies our global portfolio with assets less correlated to, or as we like to say, delinked from GDP, reflecting one of the key thematic strategies we are pursuing in the present environment.

“As we continue to execute our global strategy, we’ll look to invest in accordance with three themes: divergence or smart diversification among traditional property types, convergence or capitalisation of maturing or mispriced property types, and delinked or defensive, which involves investing in assets with traits less tied to economic cycles.”

Gordon Black, Senior Managing Director and Global Portfolio Manager, Heitman