Knight Frank launches London PBSA site to market

Global property consultancy Knight Frank launches a £100m GDV consented purpose-built student accommodation site in central London to the market.

William Road student accommodation development. Knight Frank launches the site to the market | PBSA News
William Road student accommodation development. Knight Frank launches the site to the market.

The Student Property team of Knight Frank launches William Road to the market, a consented purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) site in the Euston area of central London.

The site is held in two ownerships by Euston One – a subsidiary of MBU Capital Group and funded by Chenavari Investment Managers. Knight Frank is offering the purchase of the leasehold title of 17-33 William Road and the freehold title of 35-37 William Road. 

Camden Borough Council approved plans for William Road in April 2023, following an appeal process. The two sites have a projected GDV of circa £100m. The consented scheme – which will be London’s most centrally located PBSA development to date – is designed to provide 14-storeys of premium student accommodation, with best-in-class room sizes and 360-degree views of London from the top floor.

“Euston One acquired this site nearly four years ago with the foresight to create the best PBSA development in the UK. We are incredibly pleased that the Planning Inspector looked beyond the concerns and methods of Camden Borough Council and recognised how this application was planning policy compliant, well designed, and suitable for its location.

“Winning at appeal on all points of refusal is a credit to the professional team who, through-out the prolonged and protracted planning and appeal process repeatedly demonstrated the rigour and belief in our approach, and I am thrilled to have led them on this great win.”

Pete Moore, Director, Real Estate, MBU Capital

The scheme will include 206 student bed spaces – a mix of 102 self-contained studio bedrooms and 104 two-bedroom apartments or twodios. William Road includes 6,000 sq ft of communal amenity space containing a fitness room, studio lounge and cinema. Consent has also been granted for 11,000 sq ft of affordable office space on the ground floor.

“London is a wonderful, booming and vibrant capital, and is home to some of the best universities in the world. This development will not only be the jewel in the crown of London’s PBSA market, but will also meet the needs and lifestyle of the modern-day student and set a new benchmark for PBSA across the UK.

“The scheme has been developed with quality in mind; having previously delivered over 1,500 PBSA beds in London, this is without a doubt the best I have delivered. We believe that students deserve better living conditions, and those rooms should be available for all.

“Despite the challenges in the economy, from day one we offered 35% affordable rooms in accordance with the London Plan. We also will be providing affordable workspace as part of the scheme to meet the needs of local start-up businesses and small businesses in the Knowledge Quarter.”

Pete Moore, Director, Real Estate, MBU Capital

William Road is located in the heart of Euston’s regeneration area between Euston and Warren Street tube stations. The site offers easy access to many of London’s key universities including The University College London, Birkbeck, University of Westminster, SOAS and Regent’s University, which are all within a 20-minute walk.

“London is host to over 60 universities and colleges and has over 300,000 full time students, 37% of whom are internationals. Despite this, there is currently a critical undersupply of quality accommodation in the capital, with almost 70% of full-time students unable to access PBSA according to Knight Frank research.” Rupert Strutt, a Partner in the Student Property team at Knight Frank

Rupert Strutt, a Partner in the Student Property team at Knight Frank

Launched in partnership with UCAS last month, Knight Frank’s 2023 UK Student Accommodation Survey provided a snapshot of the accommodation choices of 20,000 domestic and international students.

The survey found that students living in a studio were the most satisfied with their accommodation (87%). Studio accommodation also received the highest value for money score, with 60% saying that their studio accommodation was value for money.

“A new consented PBSA scheme is just what London and it’s students desperately need and given the high demand from students for studio and twodio accommodation, which has jumped up considerably post-Covid, we expect extremely strong interest from a variety of investors.”

Rupert Strutt, a Partner in the Student Property team at Knight Frank