Thursday 27 June 2019

Starwood creates €1bn build-to-rent partnership

The build-to-rent market is becoming increasingly popular. Stock Image: Bloomberg
The build-to-rent market is becoming increasingly popular. Stock Image: Bloomberg
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

An affiliate of US investment giant Starwood Capital has formed a €1bn build-to-rent (BTR) residential platform in Ireland with Urbeo Residential and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif).

The platform, which will be known as Urbeo, will build rental accommodation in Dublin and other Irish cities.

Of the €1bn in funding, Isif, formerly the National Pensions Reserve Fund, is investing up to €60m.

The BTR market is becoming increasingly popular here as companies, funds and so-called real estate investment trusts (Reits) radically change Ireland's traditional housing market by buying or building entire blocks of accommodation to be rented long-term.

The platform will start with a portfolio of three assets totalling 334 private and social units in Dublin, with a pipeline of over 2,500 units in negotiation or exclusivity.

Urbeo, founded by Frank Kenny and Bill Nowlan, will seek to partner with builders, developers, and housing associations to deliver new rental housing projects in what it described as "well-serviced locations".

"We are excited to be partnering with Urbeo and Isif to address the need for high quality and professionally managed rental accommodation in Dublin," said Starwood Capital VP Matthew Parrott.

"The Irish multifamily sector, particularly in Dublin, provides our investors with exposure to a market exhibiting a structural supply shortage and compelling growth prospects."

To date, Starwood has invested in more than 30 countries around the world. Its portfolio includes approximately 74,000 multifamily units under management.

Starwood is one of the largest owners of market-rate multifamily housing in the United States with properties in Florida, Colorado, Washington, and California. It will invest in this platform through Starwood Global Opportunity Fund XI, the firm's 11th opportunistic real estate fund, which closed in April this year with commitments surpassing $7.5bn (€6.6bn).

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Goodbody Stockbrokers, A&L Goodbody, McCann Fitzgerald, William Fry and Sherry FitzGerald advised on the transaction.

This latest BTR investment follows news earlier this month that Round Hill, a British property firm, together with NBK Capital, a Middle Eastern investment company, has acquired a site in Cork with planning permission for student accommodation.

Round Hill has more than €1bn to spend on BTR and student accommodation here, and in November it announced a joint venture with Canadian property group QuadReal to purchase a 216-bed build-to-rent development in Santry, Dublin 9.

Irish Independent

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