Barings agrees forward-funding of St Gabriel’s Hall PBSA

Barings agrees £65m forward-funding of St Gabriel’s Hall purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) asset in Manchester.

St Gabriel's Hall in Manchester. Barings has agreed forward-funding for the student accommodation scheme with McLaren Property | PBSA News
St Gabriel's Hall in Manchester. Barings has agreed forward-funding for the student accommodation scheme with McLaren Property.

On behalf of a pan-European strategy to acquire core real estate, one of the world’s largest diversified real estate investment managers – Barings – has agreed c.£65m forward funding with residential and student accommodation developer – McLaren Property – for St Gabriel’s Hall – a PBSA development in Manchester. Cushman & Wakefield advised Barings and CBRE acted on behalf of McLaren.

“This partnership is a milestone moment for the project and secures the development finance required to bring this exciting scheme to fruition. McLaren Property and Barings have a shared vision to breathe new life into these redundant historic buildings and help set the highest standards of accommodation within Manchester. With enabling works already underway and the main works set to commence in November, McLaren’s focus is now on delivering an award-winning redevelopment.”

David Atherton, Divisional Managing Director, McLaren Property

Located on Oxford Place, the scheme has full planning permission for the construction of two new blocks and part-refurbishment of two heritage buildings. St Gabriel’s Hall will deliver 319 student rooms totalling 104,259 sq ft, with an additional 5,005 sq ft of amenity space.

“Student accommodation is attracting strong investor appetite, amidst what is otherwise a challenging funding backdrop, and we anticipate this will continue due to the resilience of our sector.”

John Gatley, Chief Executive, McLaren Property

St Gabriel’s Hall will target strong ESG credentials, with the newbuild blocks set to achieve EPC A alongside a BREEAM excellent rating. The refurbishment of the heritage buildings will also have major environmental benefits to the developments embodied carbon rating and footprint.

The buildings will be partly powered by air source heat pumps to produce hot water, with no gas used on site, while the scheme will also benefit from the proximity to public transport – further reducing its environmental impact.

“St Gabriel’s Hall will be the fourth PBSA scheme to be delivered by Barings in the UK on behalf of our capital partners – and the second in Manchester. Given the continuing supply-demand imbalance for PBSA in Manchester, St Gabriel’s Hall will provide an attractive proposition to students who will find the mix of quality specification, extensive amenity spaces and attractive landscaped grounds, proximity to world-class institutions, and excellent transport links very appealing. We are delighted to be partnering with McLaren Property, who are a well-regarded developer in the PBSA market.” 

Ben Pile, Head of European Residential Investment and Asset Management, Barings

The St Gabriel’s Hall development is located just to the south of the University of Manchester and the Royal Infirmary – in an established area of PBSA in Manchester. Residents will benefit from being a 10-minute walk away from the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Royal Northern College of Music. The city centre is also easily accessible.

St Gabriel’s Hall is expected to complete in summer 2025, with its first residents to move in in time for the start of the 2025/26 academic year. 

“The sector has proven very resilient over the past few years which is why we see a strong opportunity to create modern, high-quality stock that meets the aspirations of students against a background of constrained supply in the UK. Aside from PBSA as an asset class, we are very interested in further widening our exposure to Build to Rent across the country in major cities.” 

Darren Hutchinson, Managing Director and Head of UK Real Estate Transactions, Barings