Invesco and Urbania join forces on €250m student housing platform in Spain

Investment manager Invesco Real Estate and developer Urbania International, through its subsidiary Syllâbus, have announced plans to create a €250 mln student housing platform in Spain.

The platform will be seeded with four projects currently being developed by Syllâbus in the cities of Madrid (2), Valencia and Málaga. Based on these projects and six more which are in the pipeline and will be incorporated in the coming months, the platform will initially have a portfolio of 2,000 rooms. The joint venture partners plan to increase this number to 3,500 rooms in university cities in Spain and Portugal in due course.

The projects will be developed by Syllâbus, which will also operate the residences under its own brand. Invesco and Urbania said the new joint platform will be among the three main student housing players in the countries in which it operates and, as it grows, will become one of the largest investment platforms in student housing in southern Europe.

Tobias Simon, senior director of fund management at Invesco, commented: ‘We are excited about our partnership with Syllâbus and our investment into this prime purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) portfolio in the Spanish market. With a significant undersupply of student beds, supportive demographics and a resurgent economy in Spain, the project offers an attractive opportunity to invest in a growing real estate segment in Spain together with a specialised partner.

‘The current lack of high-quality student accommodation with modern amenities which meet the requirements of today’s students provides encouragement for our strategy to create an attractive income-oriented portfolio and achieve NOI growth for our investor.’

Jeffrey Sújar, CEO of Syllâbus, said the goal behind the initiative is to offer students more than a well-equipped hotel: ‘We are focused on creating an ecosystem where students can make the transition to their professional lives and develop all their skills.’

He added that residences that incorporate design and ergonomics in the study areas as well as spaces for leisure are as important for young people as their relationships with the universities. ‘It's a different product that requires long-term vision, a powerful investment platform and a partner fully aligned with your vision and your goals: Invesco has that vision and that's why they are the perfect partner to collaborate on such an ambitious project.’

Urbania plans to expand its portfolio of residences to 10,000 rooms in Spain, Portugal and Italy in the coming years.

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