Investment agency Harris Associates with developer HUB and funding partner Bridges Fund Management have launched Shore Station – a new 632-bed purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) opportunity in Leith, Edinburgh. The development represents the largest single student accommodation consent ever granted within the city – underscoring the rarity of this opportunity. Harris Associates are seeking a forward funding partner for the scheme.
Comprising 42% studios and 54% clusters, alongside 4% one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, Shore Station will encompass new-build and refurbished existing structures finished to a high-end specification, and will be built around an impressive external courtyard campus, promoting indoor-outdoor living. Designed by Michael Laird Architects, the scheme is also targeting a BREEAM Excellent certification.
Reflecting its previous life as Leith Railway Station, the scheme is set to transform the former heritage site. Situated nearby Shore in Leith, Shore Station is ten minutes from St Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh city centre and 20 minutes from the University of Edinburgh via the newly extended tram line.
“Shore Station is the most exceptional opportunity Edinburgh has seen for more than a decade. HUB and Bridges have spearheaded an unparalleled scheme, which will set a benchmark for student living in the city – featuring extensive green spaces and carefully curated design to maximise the student experience. This is an opportunity for investors to enter Edinburgh at substantial scale; the type of which may never be seen again.”Jamie Harris, Head of PBSA, Harris Associates
Shore Station encompasses 698 sqm of internal amenity spaces, including study rooms and booths, resident lounges, entertainment areas, private dining rooms, cinema and gym.
The PBSA scheme will offer over 4,550sqm of outdoor amenity spaces, representing over seven sqm per bed, to include landscaped spaces, herb gardens and outdoor wellness facilities.
“Edinburgh is one of the best student cities in the world, with fantastic universities and a brilliant lifestyle offering. It also has a clear need for more student accommodation, particularly of the quality that this scheme will deliver. Building on HUB and Bridges’ strong track record of delivering great places to live in strategic locations and with excellent amenities, Shore Station sets a new standard for student accommodation in the city.”Robert Sloss, CEO, HUB
Whilst Edinburgh is considered one of the most prestigious and desirable student destinations in Europe, the city is struggling to cope with the undersupply of student housing, with current supply levels offering just one PBSA bed to every 3.52 students.
In 2022, there were a total of 64,255 students enrolled in higher education in Edinburgh set against a total of 18,238 beds and an average 6% student population growth year-on-year. Consequently, Edinburgh faces a severe shortage of PBSA, with an extremely limited pipeline of developments.
“Bridges and HUB have a proud history of delivering high-quality, sustainable, lower-cost homes across the UK. With Shore Station, we are excited by the opportunity to transform this largely derelict site – minimising the embodied carbon of the scheme – into a thriving community of student housing, designed with extensive amenities and external green spaces that will promote better wellbeing and enhance the local area.”Simon Ringer, Head of Property Funds, Bridges Fund Management
Once named ‘The Shoreditch of Scotland’s Capital’ by Conde Nast Traveller, Leith offers a desirable lifestyle with an array of amenities and thriving cultural scene including cafes, art galleries, theatres, breweries, and several Michelin-starred restaurants.
Thanks to the newly extended tram system, Leith has fast become a hot spot for student housing, providing residents with the opportunity to enjoy the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the area.