Dominus completes two senior loans with Cheyne Capital

Dominus completes two senior loans with Cheyne Capital for two purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) developments in the City of London.

CGI of Dominus' Holborn student accommodation development | PBSA News
CGI of Dominus' Holborn student accommodation development.

Real estate investor, developer and asset manager in the hotels and living sectors – Dominus – and Cheyne Capital Management (UK) LLP, a global alternative asset manager have completed two senior loans totalling c.£400m. The loans will provide development finance for two of Dominus’ PBSA developments in the City of London.

“With the UK government’s commitment to enrol 600,000 international students by 2030, student accommodation continues to be a resilient asset class, and we see an ever-growing demand for high-quality, well-located student living options. That is why we are pleased to be partnering with Dominus to deliver two developments in the heart of central London which will not only provide a first-class experience for students, but also stand to deliver benefits to the wider community.”

Arron Taggart, Cheyne Capital Real Estate 

The first loan will support Dominus’ PBSA development in Holborn that will deliver 669 beds, with over 35% allocated as affordable accommodation and 64 rooms as wheelchair accessible. The development is also targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating.

The Holborn scheme is within close proximity of several leading London universities including The London School of Economics and Political Science, Kings College London and Queen Mary University of London.

The scheme will also deliver wider benefits for Londoners, with a mix of cultural and affordable workspace for creative businesses to be leased free of charge by the Creative Land Trust (CLT), a new viaduct connecting Holborn Viaduct and Snow Hill, and free public access to a roof terrace offering views over the City of London.

The Holborn PBSA walkway that connects to Snow Hill | PBSA News
The Holborn PBSA walkway that connects to Snow Hill.

The second facility will fund Dominus’ PBSA development in the heart of the City of London –  at 65 Crutched Friars between Aldgate and Tower Hill. The scheme will deliver just under 800 beds, of which 35% will be affordable. 65 Crutched Friars is also targeting a BREEAM Outstanding rating – making it one of the first new student developments in London to do so.

This scheme also benefits the public, with the development providing a new long-term home for the Migration Museum in a three-floor, 30,000 sq ft free-to-enter space, thanks to a 60-year lease granted by the Ahluwalia family, with no rent or service charge payable, alongside a new pocket park. 

CGI of the Migration Museum at Dominus' Crutched Friars student accommodation scheme | PBSA News
CGI of the Migration Museum at Dominus’ Crutched Friars student accommodation scheme.

“Student accommodation is in very short supply across the UK, so completing these deals is a significant milestone that will facilitate the delivery of over 1,500 units in the heart of London. Importantly, 500 of said units will be available at affordable rents, enabling future generations from all backgrounds to benefit from them.

“These two assets form part of our pipeline of over 5,000 student units across key university towns in the UK, including Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow. Thanks to the unique professional strength of our development and asset management teams, we are building a market-leading portfolio that addresses national supply and demand imbalances, working in partnership with local governments and communities to deliver highly impactful, meaningful public benefit. 

“Drawing on a decade of experience in creating hotels that locals and our guests love; we will create an innovative and inclusive experience for students which we hope will maximise their progression as they move through their careers. We look forward to delivering these schemes with our partners Cheyne Capital and working alongside the City of London Corporation to help deliver on their bold Destination City vision.”

Preet Ahluwalia from Dominus 

Both Dominus schemes have been designed to be low energy in operation, making the full use of energy and water-saving technologies, onsite renewables (PV and air source heat pumps), and low carbon community infrastructure.

CGI of the PBSA development at 65 Crutched Friars | PBSA News
CGI of the PBSA development at 65 Crutched Friars.

Both developments are also an example of the City of London Corporation’s ‘Destination City’ initiative in action, transforming the Square Mile into a seven-day-a-week visitor destination through the creation of new attractions, while also drawing in top students and future talent from across the country and the world.

“We’re delighted that the developers have been able to make such a generous contribution to the Square Mile’s cultural offer, providing a new home for the Migration Museum, in addition to the much-needed student accommodation and green space.

“These projects are examples of our Destination City vision in action, bringing us closer to our goal of transforming the Square Mile into a thriving and vibrant seven-day-a-week leisure destination for international and UK visitors, workers and residents, while also attracting world-class students and future talent.”

Shravan Joshi, Chairman of the City of London Corporation Planning and Transport Committee

The schemes, which have a combined GDV of c.£800m, will be developed and operated by Dominus.