BigCity, a development, investment and property management company specialising in student and co-living accommodation across Europe, and Reditum Capital have agreed joint venture funding for the development of BigCity Asprela, a €30 mln student accommodation facility in Porto’s main university district.
The joint venture funding marks the partners’ first entry into Portugal, a country characterised by a highly fragmented purpose-built student accommodation market with a significant supply-demand imbalance.
BigCity Asprela is a 241-bed student accommodation facility located at Asprela campus, Porto’s main university district and home to around 35,000 students. The 12-storey building, which was designed by Ooda and is being built by Teixera Duarte, one of Iberia’s largest contractors, is on schedule for completion in July 2022 ahead of the start of the academic year.
BigCity Asprela will provide 209 studios, 22 twin beds and 10 premium rooms with en-suite bathrooms, kitchenettes, wardrobe and storage space, individual air conditioning and a private balcony.
The advisers for the development are Gleeds, the project manager, CBRE, the planning consultant, JLL, the market adviser, and Edificios Saudaveis, the LEED and WELL sustainability consultant.
Mark Stephen, founder and managing director of Reditum Capital, said: ‘This transaction enables our investors to access a fantastic addition to Porto’s student accommodation offering. BigCity Asprela is a compelling opportunity, as there is a significant supply-demand mismatch in Porto, owing particularly to the growth in international students.’
He added: ‘Compared to the mature UK student accommodation market, Portuguese student housing presents investors with an early entrant opportunity, buoyed by these strong supply and demand factors. There is a significant institutional investment appetite for this type of high-quality asset, and we will be seeking to bring BigCity Asprela to market in the next twelve months.’
BigCity Asprela marks the first of several sites the partners have identified to grow their platform of Iberian student and co-living developments.
BigCity was advised by Greenberg Traurig in the UK and Cuatrecasas and Broseta in Portugal.