Unite Students complete Oak Brook Park PBSA refurbishment

As part of an annual improvements programme, Unite Students completes refurbishment at its Oak Brook Park purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme in Birmingham.

Unite Students' Oak Brook Park scheme in Birmingham | PBSA News
Unite Students' Oak Brook Park scheme in Birmingham.

Student accommodation provider Unite Students has completed a £9.2m refurbishment at its Oak Brook Park PBSA development in Birmingham. Unite Students has a nomination agreement with the University of Birmingham for over half the beds at Oak Brook Park.

Situated in Selly Oak, the first phase included a full renovation of 371 bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, plus 85 kitchens.

The reception area will also be transformed by the end of the year, with the second phase of work at the 281-bed block situated across the road due to take place in 2024.

Oak Brook Park, which has a yield on cost of 7%, adds to two other major refurbishment schemes in 2023; £9.1m works at The Bridge House in Edinburgh, and a £5.7m project at Station Court in London.

The work is part of Unite Students’ annual investment in building improvements, costing between £50m to £75m and adding significant environmental improvements.

At Oak Brook Park, this includes a new building energy management system, smart hot water tanks and LED lighting. Carbon and energy are being reduced by 21% because of the scheme.

“We’re delighted with the results of the refurbishment work at Oak Brook Park, which will have a significant impact on students’ day-to-day living at the property. This project, and work at Bridge House and Station Court, are part of our drive to create value through asset management projects in our portfolio, as well as to reach our goal of net zero carbon across our operations and developments by 2030.”

Claire Barber, Asset Management Director, Unite Students

The Bridge House in Edinburgh is also being upgraded and includes updates to bedrooms, shared bathrooms and all kitchens. New shower rooms have also been installed in every flat in the 322-bed property.

Students now benefit from a new reception entrance, additional study spaces, TV lounges and other social spaces.

Smart-controlled hot water cylinders and heating help cut energy use, alongside upgrades to the building fabric including cladding improvements, new external render, plus a full window replacement.

Work has also started at Station Court in north London, which will see full refurbishment of all kitchens and bedrooms, as well as bathrooms.

The project will see enhancements to the entrance area, incorporating a new reception and increased amenity, including flexible study areas and social spaces enhancing the student experience.

Solar panels are being installed to generate renewable electricity on site, along with smart controls on hot water and heating.