UNITE, the UK's leading developer and manager of student accommodation, today announces the sale of Orient House, its 158-bed property at Imperial Wharf, West London, to Imperial College London for £20.6 million (approx. 26 million). The sale price reflects a net initial yield of 5.6%.
Orient House is a non-core asset for UNITE as it is a significant distance from the UNITE Group's other London properties and was sold on behalf of UNITE's joint venture with GIC Real Estate, UNITE Capital Cities. The property was previously leased to Imperial College London and Imperial now intends to use Orient House to extend their graduate accommodation service, GradPad.
UNITE has also sold Greenview Court, an 87-bed property in North London to a private investor for £6 million (approx. 7.6 million). This wholly-owned asset does not have en-suite bathrooms and has been leased to a third party for 10 years.
Together, these transactions demonstrate further success in UNITE's selective disposal program. This is a key element of the Group's strategy to improve the commercial quality of its portfolio, allowing UNITE to focus investment on larger developments in London, such as the 951-bed scheme adjacent to the Olympic Park in Stratford on which it secured planning in December 2011.
Richard Simpson, Managing Director of Property at UNITE, commented: "The completion of these sales marks further good progress in our disposal program of non-core assets and enables us to recycle our capital to support our focus on our London development pipeline."
Jane Neary, Director of Commercial Services at Imperial College London, said: "We have been developing Imperial's Gradpad portfolio to improve the choice of student accommodation available to postgraduates studying in London. The acquisition of Orient House is an important addition and will provide postgraduates with accommodation in an area we know to be popular with students, within 30 minutes' of two of our campuses."
Source: FTI Consulting