Greystar, PSP and Allianz acquire London student digs for over €185m

A joint venture between global investor Greystar, German insurer Allianz and Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) has acquired a student housing asset in London’s Shoreditch from Apache Capital Partners for over £160 mln (€185 mln).

The purchase of the 458-bedroom Paul St. East scheme, located in the heart of London’s tech quarter and close to Amazon’s east London office, is one of the biggest single-lot transactions in the history of the UK’s purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) sector.

Greystar said the transaction represents a significant addition to Greystar’s Chapter portfolio and reflects the ongoing attractiveness of London as a global city for international students.

It added that the acquisition will enable the JV to further realise the potential of the Chapter brand, including its goal of delivering 10,000 best-in-class student beds in the UK within five years.

Troy Tomasik, Greystar’s managing director of investment in the UK and Ireland, said: ‘Greystar is excited to be expanding the Chapter portfolio with another high-quality student accommodation asset in London – which remains the premier global city for international students with its world-class universities and higher education institutions. We strongly believe that Paul St. East has significant long-term potential through integrating the asset with our Chapter brand to offer students the exceptional services and experiential living enjoyed at Greystar’s other Chapter residences.’

Apache Capital plans to reinvest funds from the deal into its own build-to-rent pipeline with Moda Living, one of the UK’s largest national multifamily pipelines with 6,500 apartments across nine cities.

The Paul St. East project was originally acquired from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency and included 43,000 sq. ft. of offices sold to Helical in 2015. Paul St. East, developed by Apache Capital in a joint venture with McLaren Property, has been fully-let every year since its completion. 

John Dunkerley, CEO of Apache Capital Partners, said: ‘The sale price of Paul St. East not only underlines the continued attractiveness of UK PBSA to institutional investors and the growing maturity of the sector as an asset class, but also shows the benefit of investing heavily in creating aspirational lifestyles for our residents through marketing, amenity provision and high-quality service.’

Mike Toone of MTRE advised Apache Capital. JLL acted for the JV.


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