Global investment firm KKR has sold two major student housing developments in the Netherlands for €190 million.

Xior Student Housing acquired the Zernike Tower in Groningen, and Greystar Real Estate Partners has acquired the student accommodation units in Utrecht. Earlier this year in May, in a separate transaction, KKR sold the residential buildings in Utrecht, comprising 173 units, to GIC and Orange Capital Partners. KKR acquired the sites in 2018.

The 23-story Zernike Tower in Groningen opened in August this year and achieved full occupancy shortly afterward, offering 698 fully furnished independent studios. It is located, close to the city centre and the Zernike student campus of Groningen, one of the top four student cities in the Netherlands, with a high percentage of international students. The student accommodation complex in Utrecht comprises 682 units split between a newly constructed 24-storey building (463 units) and a refurbished former hospital wing of nine storeys (219 units) that were completed in October, located close to Utrecht University and the city centre.

Seb D’Avanzo, managing director of European real estate at KKR, said: “With these investments, we have helped address the growing demand for quality and well-located affordable accommodation in the Netherlands that also contribute to the local community and economy. We see the Netherlands as an important real estate market and will continue to look for opportunities to invest in delivering quality assets to benefit from the continued pipeline of demand.”

KKR stated it will continue to assess further investment opportunities in the Netherlands and invest through multiple strategies including acquiring existing assets, developing new purpose-built student accommodation, forward funding and repositioning assets across select university towns and cities across Europe.

Date published: 23 December 2020

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