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Unite acquires £150 million London site

George Sell Uploaded 23 November 2020 UK: Student accommodation provider Unite Students has acquired an 800-bed development site in London's Paddington neighbourhood.

The site, which was bought from builders' merchants from Travis Perkins, has a target delivery for the 2023/24 academic year, subject to planning consent. Its development costs is expected to be £150 million.

Discussions are underway with local universities for partnership to support the scheme through planning, with a view to agreeing a long-term nomination agreement.

The development will incorporate design features to reduce its embodied and operational carbon, supporting Unite’s ambition to net zero development and operations. It will also include a new ground floor retail unit for Travis Perkins.

Unite chief executive Richard Smith said: "Our latest land acquisition means we have now secured £175m of new development opportunities since our recent placing. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a Zone 1 central London site in an excellent location, which will help to meet the growing accommodation needs of our London-based university partners. We remain confident in the growth outlook for London over the next decade, reflecting the global reputation of its Universities and a positive outlook for growth in UK and international student numbers."

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"ULF is a long needed innovative approach. The blend of content demonstrates that hospitality provides the increasingly crucial thread through so many real estate classes and not only refers to traditional hotels and serviced apartments but has already permeated the residential markets in their increasingly varied formats. Now these services are expanding into the residential innovative care and office markets in the UK and overseas. We are witnessing the market converging at pace as investors seek optimum yield across a variety of urban asset classes. These are exciting and pioneering times and I look forward to expanding my horizons at this unique event"

Laurence Geller CBE, CEO Geller Capital Partners

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