€240m spent on student housing deal in Dublin
Real estate giant Hines has entered the Irish student housing market with the purchase of four new premises across Dublin city for a figure understood to be around €240m.
The assets have been acquired on behalf of a group of German pension funds from UK-based Threesixty Developments.
Threesixty is a student housing developer controlled by Oaktree Capital.
The four assets bought by Hines will add a combined extra 1,500 new beds for the capital's student population.
The Liberties-based Binary Hub was completed in July 2016 and has the capacity to house 470 students.
Two more developments in Dorset Street and Summerhill are due to be completed in 2017 and 2018, providing 450 and 400 beds respectively. The final building - on Cork Street - is subject to planning approval, but Hines said it could be built by 2019. The real estate firm said it intends to hold all four assets on a "long-term" basis when complete.
Hines Ireland senior managing director Brian Moran said Dublin was home to a vibrant and dynamic student population.
"Demand for high-quality, safe, well-located accommodation is increasing. We are very happy to be a part of solving Dublin's housing supply issues by taking over this platform and expect it to tie in well with our residential development plans," he said.
The Threesixty deal is the second major student housing deal for Hines this year, after securing six developments across the UK from McLaren Property.
The deals are the next step in the company's diversification strategy into new asset classes. Hines student accommodation head Alex Knapp said Ireland was an exciting growth market.
"We are already looking at further opportunities to growing our portfolio both in Ireland, the UK and elsewhere in Europe during 2017," he said.
Threesixty chief executive Bob Crompton said the facilities would provide much needed housing supply in the centre of the city. "I can think of no better organisation to deliver, manage and grow the student housing business going forward than Hines.
"Hines are a long-term investor who have shown commitment to the sector and to Ireland so I am confident that Dublin will benefit greatly from this in the coming years," he said.
The entry into the student market comes as Hines looks to up its Dublin portfolio across the board.
It is understood the property giant is in the process of agreeing heads of terms to acquire the 'Grafton collection' - a multi-let block of retail buildings which includes the landmark Hickey's Pharmacy premises at the junction of Grafton Street and Duke Street.