Carlyle expands student residential footprint

Continuing its foray into Europe’s student accommodation sector, The Carlyle Group has bought the former headquarters of The Rotterdam Social Insurance Bank with a view to converting it into a 250 room ‘student hotel’.

Washington DC-based The Carlyle Group has purchased an office building in the Dutch city of Rotterdam with the aim of converting its use to student accommodation as it continues to its expansion into the sector.

The firm said today it had bought The Rotterdam Social Insurance Bank with the intention of converting the building into a ‘student hotel’ capable of providing 250 rooms. No price was disclosed, but PERE understands that the total cost of acquiring the site and developing it would be approximately €18 million.

The office was another acquisition made on behalf it Carlyle’s Carlyle European Real Estate Partners III (CEREP III) opportunity fund, which closed on €2.2 billion in June 2008.

The Rotterdam scheme is still subject to planning approval but it is hoped the scheme could be ready in time for the start of the 2012 academic year.

The accommodation with form part of Carlyle’s student accommodation joint venture with the MacGregor family, a private investor, called City Living.

 The JV now currently has five schemes from which it hopes to provide more than 1500 rooms by 2013 and 5,000 beds in the Benelux region during the forthcoming five years. This is in addition to its London student accommodation platform which has a target of 4,000 beds in the next three years.

Carlyle has made an increasing number of investments outside of its traditionally core markets of the UK and France of late. In an interview with PERE, published in this month’s magazine, managing director of Europe for Carlyle, Robert Hodges, said CEREP III still had about €500 million to spend from the fund and that the capital would be deployed into a variety of other European markets and sectors.

To read more about Carlyle’s plans in Europe click here.