Harrison Street and CA Ventures to develop London PBSA

Harrison Street and CA Ventures to develop purpose-built student accommodation in New Cross, London – which will be managed by Novel Student.

London skyline - Harrison Street | CA Ventures | PBSA News
London skyline. Image credit: Diliff, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Investment management firms exclusively focused on alternative real assets – Harrison Street –  and vertically integrated real estate investment management company – CA Ventures – will develop of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme in New Cross, London. Once complete, the scheme will be managed by CA Ventures’ in-house PBSA management company, Novel Student. JLL Capital Markets advised Harrison Street and CA on the financing for the transaction.

“HSBC has established strong credentials supporting the larger players in the UK PBSA sector with a range of funding solutions both on-balance sheet and via public markets. Amongst that, we have a track record of assisting clients creating PBSA portfolios with the provision of development finance.

“London is the world’s largest graduate city, and we are delighted to support CA Ventures and Harrison Street’s joint venture on this purpose built 393 bed PBSA community scheme in New Cross. The premier higher education accommodation sector has recovered strongly from the disruption of the pandemic as reflected by the significant investment activity and improved financial performance driving yield compression. We look forward to continuing to work with Harrison Street and CA as they continue to grow the portfolio in other student markets.”

Hugh Taylor, Head of Housing, HSBC UK

The new Grade-A property will deliver 393 student beds which includes en-suite and studio rooms and 58 affordable residential units, and 24,000 sq ft of commercial space across two high-rise buildings. The PBSA units will be fully furnished and amenities include a gym, courtyard, game room and study areas. The scheme is expected to complete for the 2024 academic year.

The development is a short walk away from New Cross and New Cross Gate train stations – and is located near Goldsmiths University, University of Greenwich and King’s College London, in the London Borough of Lewisham.

“The New Cross development is yet more evidence of the continued demand for our unique PBSA schemes as well as our wellness-focused operating platform, Novel Student, having recently celebrated reaching 100% leased across our initial PBSA portfolio.

“Further, this project demonstrates our enduring ability to execute on our investment strategy through the delivery of premium assets across Europe’s most attractive and underserved markets for students. We look forward to successfully bringing this exciting new product to market alongside our trusted partner, Harrison Street.”

Carlo Matta, Head of CA’s European operations

This new PBSA scheme is the sixth asset for the joint venture partnership between Harrison Street and CA Ventures, which most recently entered the European market with a PBSA development in Cork, Ireland. The joint venture has plans to deliver 3,000 PBSA beds across the UK and Ireland.

“We are excited to bring another much-needed state of the art PBSA to London’s thriving yet underserved college student population. Despite being home to some of the world’s leading universities and Europe’s largest population of students, London lacks high-quality student housing options.

“An exciting neighbourhood for students, New Cross is home to nearly 51,000 full time students, however there are few existing PBSA or university operated accommodations in the area. Moreover, we are pleased to expand our longstanding partnership with CA to develop this exciting housing to an underserved university market and look forward to continuing to execute on our attractive pipeline of PBSA opportunities in top-tier university markets across Europe.” 

Paul Bashir, Chief Executive Officer, Harrison Street Europe

Since launching its European strategy in 2015, Harrison Street has acquired or developed 63 assets including nearly 17,000 student accommodation beds, over 3,000 residential units, and 2.1 million sq ft of life sciences space in partnership with 14 operating partners in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and Spain. Additional investments in the near-term pipeline are anticipated to expand the firm’s footprint to the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy and Portugal.