Thursday 13 December 2018

UK's Round Hill snaps up Cork student project

This is the latest investment from Round Hill, which has over €1bn to spend on build-to-rent and student accommodation here. Stock Image: Bloomberg
This is the latest investment from Round Hill, which has over €1bn to spend on build-to-rent and student accommodation here. Stock Image: Bloomberg
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

A British property firm has acquired a site in Cork with planning permission for student accommodation.

London-based Round Hill, together with NBK Capital, a Middle Eastern investment company, is to construct a mixed-use project on the Farranlea Road site, which will include 145 purpose-built student beds.

It is understood the development cost of the project is approximately €19m.

Round Hill is among the latest in a wave of companies, funds and so-called real estate investment trusts (Reits) that are radically changing Ireland's traditional housing market and student accommodation sector by buying or building entire blocks of accommodation to be rented long-term.

The two companies also plan on acquiring and developing purpose-built student accommodation schemes in Dublin and Galway that will deliver in excess of 1,200 beds. The cost of these developments is understood to be around €81m.

"Thanks to its growing economy, Ireland continues to attract increasing numbers of students, both locally and internationally, and we look forward to playing an integral role as Ireland grows into one of the world's leading university locations," said John Vaudin, MD of Round Hill (Ireland).

The building in Cork will be managed by Nido Student, Round Hill's operational platform for European student accommodation.

This is the latest investment from Round Hill, which has over €1bn to spend on build-to-rent and student accommodation here.

Last month the company announced a joint venture with Canadian property group QuadReal to purchase a 216-bed build-to-rent development in Santry, Dublin 9.

The development, which comprises three one-bed, 195 two-bed and 18 three-bed apartments, is being built by the Cosgrave group. It is expected that the properties will be available for occupancy in the latter half of 2019.

Round Hill has acquired, built and managed over 110,000 residential units and student housing beds, and currently operates around 65,000 units in eight European countries including the UK, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Since its inception in 2002 it has invested more than €7bn of capital in European real estate assets.

In August the group announced it had appointed Mr Vaudin to lead its Irish operations.

Mr Vaudin joined Round Hill after more than 12 years with WK Nowlan real estate advisers in Dublin, where he was a director and shareholder responsible for investment, development and asset management advisory services to international and domestic investors, government agencies and educational and religious institutions.

He previously worked for Thames Water Property, BAA Lynton and Pillar Property in the UK and Treasury Holdings and Harcourt Developments in Ireland.

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