UNITE, the UK's leading developer and manager of student accommodation, has signed a 15 year nomination agreement with King's College London for 97% of Moonraker Point, the Group's new 674 bedroom development at 61-63 Great Suffolk Street, SE1 in Southwark's Southbank.
Moonraker Point is part of UNITE's £165 million investment in Southwark
The deal represents the first time that UNITE has signed an agreement with King's and is indicative of a wider trend of high quality student accommodation being recognized as an important element of the student experience. King's, which has a significant presence in the Southbank area, is taking 654 rooms on a 15 year term, with the first students moving in at the start of the 2012/13 academic year.
Moonraker Point is a significant addition to UNITE's portfolio of over 130 properties throughout the UK and is typical of the Group's accommodation: well-located sites with good transport links, close to university campuses and rent that includes utilities, internet, insurance and 24-hour security. With London Universities highlighting their location as a key element of their brand, Moonraker point provides highly desirable accommodation in an exciting central London location.
This type of brand appeal is more important than ever as students increasingly demand more from their university experience. UNITE's own research found that prospective students considering attending university in 2012/13, the first to be affected by increased tuition fees, are becoming more savvy consumers; it is not that they are reconsidering going to university because of the fee hike, but they are more focused on the value of their experience. 80% said they were prepared to pay more for a university with a strong reputation, suggesting that university brand will be a more important factor than price in choosing where to study.
Moonraker Point, is part of UNITE's £165 million (approx. 206 million) investment in Southwark and the Group's fifth development in the borough, contributing £10.8 million (approx. 13.5 million) per year to the regeneration of Southwark's Southbank and £1.9 million (approx. 2.3 million) to the local community in Section 106 payments, as well as providing local residents with additional amenities through 2,230 m² of commercial space.
Richard Simpson, Managing Director of Property for UNITE, said: "This agreement with King's College London demonstrates the continued demand for student accommodation in the capital. Moonraker Point is a high quality development in the heart of Southbank, an ideal location for any student studying in London.
"UNITE has been working closely with universities since we launched 21 years ago and we are proud to add King's as our newest partner. Our flexible operating model enables us to fit alongside universities' existing accommodation arrangements and we look forward to working with King's College London to provide their students with a home that enhances their overall student experience."
Jenny Briggs, Director of Student Facilities at King's College London, said: "King's College London is very pleased to have secured additional accommod