Henderson Park, the European real estate investment platform founded by Nick Weber, and international real estate firm Hines have formed a joint venture to pursue value-added investments in the European student accommodation sector. This is the second joint venture that Henderson Park and Hines have formed, following shortly after their acquisition of the Ledra Marriott hotel in central Athens in June.
The Joint Venture is embarking on its first project to develop a 630-bed student accommodation development in Lancaster in the UK. The new facility is currently under construction with completion in time for the 2019/2020 academic year. Once complete, the scheme will incorporate a range of shared facilities including a roof level lounge, study library, gym and cinema space, creating an attractive and secure off-hub campus for students.
Lancaster University is one of the UK’s top ten universities and was recently named the University of the Year in The Times Good University Guide 2018. With over 13,000 students at the university, including just over 3,000 from overseas, coupled with a very limited amount of professionally managed student accommodation away from the university campus, the city offers strong demand and supply fundamentals for student accommodation.
Earlier this year Hines launched a new in-house operating platform - aparto - to enhance the experience for its student residents. The combined Hines portfolio now comprises 13 student accommodation developments in the UK and Ireland, with a combined GDV of over €567.2m (£500m).
Nick Weber, Founding Partner of Henderson Park, said: “This landmark development in Lancaster represents Henderson’s Park’s first entry into the student living market and the first for this new joint venture with Hines. Lancaster is one of the UK’s top universities and has a large and growing population of domestic and international students but an acute undersupply of modern purpose built student accommodation, which this investment will help address. We now look forward to working with Hines to source further interesting opportunities for future investment in this sector across a range of different European cities, where we believe there are also compelling underlying fundamentals.”
Lars Huber, CEO of Hines Europe, said: “We are very committed to the student housing sector, and look forward to expanding our growing portfolio in other markets across Europe through this joint venture with Henderson Park. We will be identifying locations with a vibrant and dynamic student populations, working closely with Universities to help meet the increasing demand for high quality, well-managed accommodation.”