Urbania International, through its subsidiary Syllabus, and Invesco Real Estate, have reached an agreement to jointly develop one of the largest investment platforms in student residences in Spain. Urbania’s goal is to strengthen its position in the country and continue opening up the market in the main university cities. The initial investment will be €250m. The agreement includes the immediate incorporation into the platform of four of the projects that Syllabus by Urbania already has underway in Spain, in the cities of Madrid (2), Valencia and Malaga. With these projects and six more, also in development, which will be incorporated in the upcoming months, the platform will initially have a portfolio of 2,000 rooms. Soon, it is planned to increase that figure to 3,500 rooms in university cities in Spain and Portugal.
The projects will be developed by Syllabus, which will also operate the residences under its own brand. The agreement places this joint platform among the three main players of the sector in the countries in which it operates and which will, in the coming years, create one of the largest investment platforms in student housing in southern Europe.
Tobias Simon, Senior Director – Fund Management at Invesco commented: “We are excited about our partnership with Syllâbus and our investment into this prime purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) portfolio in the Spanish market. With a significant undersupply of student beds, supportive demographics and a resurgent economy in Spain, the project offers an attractive opportunity to invest in a growing real estate segment in Spain together with a specialised partner. The current lack of high-quality student accommodation with modern amenities which meet the requirements of today’s students provides encouragement for our strategy to create an attractive income-oriented portfolio and achieve NOI growth for our investor.”
Jeffrey Sujar, CEO of Syllabus, explained that the goal is to offer students something more than a well-equipped hotel: "We are focused on creating an ecosystem where students can make the transition to their professional lives and develop all their skills." In his opinion, there are currently not enough spaces that meet the optimal conditions to achieve it, residences where details such as design and ergonomics in the study areas, and the existence of spaces for leisure are as important as the relationships with the universities or the activities for personal and professional growth. "It's a different product that requires long-term vision, a powerful investment platform and a partner fully aligned with your vision and your goals: Invesco has that vision and that's why they are the perfect partner to collaborate on such an ambitious project," noted Sujar.