GSA and Harrison Street push into Spain's student market with €750m JV

US-based Harrison Street Real Estate Capital is expanding its presence in Europe with a €750 mln joint venture with Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA) to invest in student accommodation in Spain.

The JV, which builds on the pair's similar ventures in the UK and Ireland, aims to acquire more than 10,000 student beds in top-tier university cities, including 8,000 new student rooms in Madrid and Barcelona.

It also means GSA has achieved its target of delivering 2,000 student beds in Spain by the end of 2019, 18 months after first entering the market. All the beds are managed by GSA's local operator Nexo Residencias.

Since last May Harrison Street has been 75% owned by services firm Colliers International, following a €460 mln deal that has boosted both parties' global reach and given Colliers a foothold in Harrison Street's specialist sectors of healthcare, education and storage.

Rob Mathias, senior managing director of Harrison Street, said: 'The Spanish student housing market is extremely attractive due to a lack of adequate housing options and outdated facilities for the 1.3 million students in the country.

'We are excited to continue our long-standing relationship with GSA Group to bring our rigorous investment approach and combined student housing expertise to the growing Spanish student housing market through partnerships with proven operators and developers, and we look forward to continuing our growth together across Europe.'

Nicholas Porter, executive chairman at GSA Group, added: 'Together with Harrison Street, we have rapidly created a strong first-mover advantage in Spain. With Harrison Street’s investment expertise and our unique student ecosystem, specialist hospitality management and operating credentials we are well placed for another winning partnership in both Spain and more widely in targeted areas across Europe.'


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