Greystar Real Estate Partners, acting alongside joint venture partners, a subsidiary of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) and Allianz Real Estate, has exchanged contracts to acquire a large purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) asset in London’s Shoreditch from Apache Capital Partners. The purchase of the Paul St. East scheme for over €184.9m (£160m) is one of the biggest single-lot transactions in the history of Britain’s PBSA sector and represents a significant addition to Greystar’s Chapter portfolio.
The 458-bedroom project was originally acquired from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency and included 43,000ft² of offices sold to Helical in 2015. Paul St. East, developed by Apache Capital in a joint venture with McLaren Property, has been fully-let every year since its completion.
Apache Capital plans to reinvest funds from the deal into its own build-to-rent pipeline with Moda Living, one of the UK’s largest national multifamily pipelines with 6,500 apartments across nine cities.
Troy Tomasik, Greystar managing director of Investments in the UK and Ireland, said: “Greystar is excited to be expanding the Chapter portfolio with another high-quality student accommodation asset in London – which remains the premier global city for international students with its world-class universities and higher education institutions. We strongly believe that Paul St. East has significant long-term potential through integrating the asset with our Chapter brand to offer students the exceptional services and experiential living enjoyed at Greystar’s other Chapter residences.”
John Dunkerley, CEO at Apache Capital Partners, said: "The sale price of Paul St. East not only underlines the continued attractiveness of UK PBSA to institutional investors and the growing maturity of the sector as an asset class but also shows the benefit of investing heavily in creating aspirational lifestyles for our residents through marketing, amenity provision and high-quality service. By being an early mover into UK PBSA and creating a genuinely premium product, we have delivered exceptional returns for our investors, which further underpins our rationale behind our current strategy with Moda Living in build-to-rent, where we are creating one of the largest branded portfolios with a similar focus on prime locations and high-quality amenity and services."