Scape and APG student accommodation Leeds

A joint venture between student accommodation provider Scape and Dutch pension fund APG has purchased a purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development site in Yorkshire from Real Estate Capital Holdings for £18.5 million.

The site at 44 Merrion Street in Leeds has planning permission for 660 student bedrooms in two towers standing at seven and 32 stories, and has an approximate gross development value of more than £100 million.

The property will have a mixture of studios and en suite cluster apartments, and provide communal and amenity spaces such as a fitness studio, cinema and shared kitchens. The site is a short walk away from the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University.

Adam Brockley, co-founder and chief development officer of Scape said: “This an important and exciting first step in Scape and APG’s expansion strategy. We are really looking forward to completing this landmark site with [architect] SimpsonHaugh and contributing to the local community. This is going to be a truly iconic building on the Leeds skyline and the beginning of further developments for Scape in leading academic cities both in the UK and globally.”

Paddy Shovlin, founder of Real Estate Capital Holdings added: “We are delighted that Scape will be delivering this world-class tall building designed by SimpsonHaugh, which will significantly raise the bar for architecture in Leeds’ cultural district. The scheme will provide new street level retail, arts and cultural space, as well as delivering public realm enhancements and new trees.”

Estate agent Knight Frank advised Real Estate Capital Holdings on the disposal. Mike O’Sullivan from Knight Frank’s student property team said: “With over 59,000 students arriving to study in the city each year, this is an exceptional development opportunity to tap into an undersupplied market. Every year around 60% of university students living in Leeds are unable to access either campus or privately-owned PBSA. 44 Merrion Street will provide Leeds with much needed, high-quality accommodation.”

Date published: 30 March 2021

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