LaSalle invests £81m in student housing

The Chicago-based real estate investment management firm has continued to pursue student housing deals having invested more than £250m on the asset type in 2014.

LaSalle Investment Management, the Chicago-based real estate investment management firm, has purchased two student accommodation properties in separate transactions totalling £81 million (€110 million; $125 million).

The firm acquired East Side Locks in Birmingham from London-based property developers Alumno Developments for £43.59 million. Construction on the site has just started and is scheduled for completion in August 2016. The development will see a 215,000 square foot purpose-built property house 625 bedrooms spread across an 8-storey building with a 17-storey tower. East Side Locks is located in the city centre adjacent to Birmingham City University’s new Eastside campus and there is a 21-year nominations agreement in place with the University.

It was the second transaction between LaSalle Investment Management and Alumno Developments, having previously acquired a student housing project in Norwich due for completion later this year.

LaSalle also purchased The Hive, London for £37.75million from London-based real estate private equity firm Frogmore Real Estate Partners. The Hive was built in 2008, and comprises 203 bedrooms with a common room, study room and laundry facilities on the sixth floor and a large roof garden across 75,000 square feet.

“Eastside Locks and The Hive in Bethnal Green align with our core plus strategy. These large, high quality assets are well-located both in terms of public transport and proximity to higher education institutions, so will appeal to students looking for high quality, comfortable and convenient housing,” commented John Yeend, director at LaSalle. “There is still strong pent-up occupier demand for student housing and we will continue to identify assets of this type during 2015 to add to our client’s portfolios.”

The firm was busy buying student housing in 2014 when it acquired 11 student accommodation assets for a combined total of over £250 million. Notable student housing deals in 2014 included the acquisition of King Square Studios in Bristol for £33.5 million and purchase of Victoria Hall in London for £41.45 million.