Investment management firm Harrison Street announces a joint venture with WerkLiv, a Montreal-based real estate development firm focused on cost-conscious student housing, to acquire Le Mildoré, a purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) project in Montreal. This acquisition is the thirteenth investment by Harrison Street’s Canada Alternative Real Estate Fund, which has closed on investments valued in excess of CAD$925m since launching in 2021. It is also the investment firms first student housing investment in Montreal.
The Le Mildoré scheme is 99% occupied. It was developed in August 2022 and is one of the only PBSA developments in Montreal with three- and four-bedroom apartments and a host of high-quality amenities. The development is located on one of the most desirable streets of downtown Montreal, near world-class restaurants, nightlife and events. Its central location means that students benefit from being near Montreal’s two prominent universities – McGill University and Concordia University – which together encompass over 80,000 full-time students.
“We are delighted to announce Harrison Street’s first PBSA investment in Montreal, in partnership with WerkLiv, an experienced developer in Canada’s student housing market. Le Mildoré will help fill a significant void for purpose-built student housing in Montreal, which has an estimated student population of 139,000 and among the largest shortage of student accommodations in Canada. The current shortfall in units designed for student occupancy in downtown Montreal is approximately 47,000 – representing a large, unfilled market opportunity.
“The property not only reflects Harrison Street’s strategy of investing in unique, high-quality assets that serve significant market needs, but also our commitment to integrating ESG throughout our business. Le Mildoré was developed with materials and methods designed to produce lower GHG emissions, which will advance our goals to lower carbon emissions by improving the energy efficiency of the building.”Jonathan Turnbull, Head of Transactions and Business Development, Canada of Harrison Street
With a population of over 1.7 million, Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and the largest city in the province of Quebec. Downtown Montreal has seen 4.4% population growth over the past five years, the second fastest pace for all primary downtown areas in Canada over this period.