Corporate deal set to create 32-storey student accommodation building in Leeds

A corporate deal has been signed which is set to lead to the creation of a 32-storey student accommodation building in Leeds.

Computer generated images of the planned student accommodation scheme in Leeds.
Computer generated images of the planned student accommodation scheme in Leeds.

Real Estate Capital Holdings has agreed to sell a development opportunity in Leeds for £18.5m to global living specialist Scape in its joint venture with Dutch pension fund APG.

44 Merrion Street, which has an approximate GDV (gross development value) of more than £100 million, has planning permission for 660 student bedrooms split across two towers, standing at seven and 32 storeys.

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A spokesman said: “The new 44 Merrion Street property will feature a mixture of studios and en-suite cluster apartments, alongside extensive communal and amenity spaces such as a fitness studio, cinema and shared kitchens.

"The development will also reactivate public realm space at the ground floor level, benefitting both student residents and the general public."

Knight Frank advised Real Estate Capital Holdings on the disposal.

Mike O’Sullivan of Knight Frank’s Student Property team commented: “With over 59,000 students arriving to study in the city each year, this is an exceptional development opportunity to tap into an undersupplied market.

"Every year around 60% of university students living in Leeds are unable to access either campus or privately-owned PBSA (purpose built student accommodation). 44 Merrion Street will provide Leeds with much needed, high-quality accommodation.”

Paddy Shovlin, founder, director and shareholder of Real Estate Capital Holdings said: “We are delighted that Scape will be delivering this world-class tall building – designed by SimpsonHaugh – which will significantly raise the bar for architecture in Leeds’ Cultural District.”

"The scheme will provide new street level retail, arts and cultural space, as well as delivering public realm enhancements and new trees within the vicinity of important historic assets such as the Grade I Listed St John’s Church.”

Adam Brockley, co-founder and chief development officer of Scape, added: “This an important and exciting first step in Scape and APG’s expansion strategy. We are really looking forward to completing this landmark site with SimpsonHaugh and contributing to the local community.

"This is going to be a truly iconic building on the Leeds skyline and the beginning of further developments for Scape in leading academic cities both in the UK and globally.”