Most expensive student flats in Leeds 100 per cent occupied after businesses move on site

One of Yorkshire’s most expensive student accommodation schemes, which includes a cinema room and a fitness suite, has filled all its apartments and let out its two ground floor commercial spaces.

Marketing manager Jennifer Pierce, pictured in one of the new student flats, as part of the Oasis Residence, Cookridge Street, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

YPP’s Oasis Residence in Leeds, which was recently completed after an ‘unforeseen delay’ on its external façade, could set you back over £300 per week for a studio apartment - more than double the average student rent in Leeds of £141.

The part six and part eight storey building consists of 96 self-contained studio apartments that have all been fully occupied since they completed last year, plus a communal lounge, fitness suite, cinema room and study areas.

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The two commercial units that sit within the £16m building, on Cookridge Street, just off Millennium Square, in the city centre, have also been snapped up.

A Chinese supermarket is planning to open a 2,300 sq ft store in the ground floor retail space of the development, which was designed by Leeds based Brewster Bye Architects. A 1,400 sq ft office houses YPP’s lettings team.

Deluxe student accommodation is increasing in cities like Leeds, Sheffield and York, which attract thousands of international students to study there every year.

According to the 2018 Leeds Crane Survey, the introduction of luxury student accommodation “recognises the need to provide high quality accommodation with additional amenity space and services beyond the traditional private bed student accommodation cluster flats”.

Most new student accommodation is now provided by the private sector as universities focus on funding the core areas of educating and research.

Oasis Residence is YPP’s seventh building in Leeds, and is its flagship student scheme.

Omar Al-Nujaifi, from YPP, said: “We have experienced very high demand from students, who were able to move in last year and the whole development is now fully occupied until next summer.

“Plus, the feedback we’ve received from students about the living accommodation and amenities has all been very positive.”

He added: “The development’s ground floor space is also the ideal location for our second Leeds office, which complements our existing site on Blenheim Terrace.”

Figures by JLL show that the number of student beds in Yorkshire rose by 48 per cent, from 45,000 to almost 67,000 in the five years to 2018, despite the number of full-time students only rising by one per cent during the same period.

Leeds saw the largest increase, with 9,272 student beds built during this period, a rise of 79 per cent.

YPP told The Yorkshire Post last year that it believed there was enough demand to meet supply even though acceptances for places at UK universities were down by 1.1 per cent for 2018/19.

“Students today have much higher standards and expect a lot more from their accommodation, ” YPP’s marketing manager Jennifer Pierce said. “We are providing what they want and expect.”

Oasis Residence was built on the site of the former Australian-themed bar chain Walkabout, which closed in 2013.

Chris Austin, managing director at Brewster Bye Architects, said: “This development has created a stunning, landmark building where a derelict bar once stood. It now offers high quality living accommodation and great views which have immediately made it a popular place to live.

“Crucially, it’s also a welcome addition to Cookridge Street and sits comfortably within the existing streetscape and next to the neighbouring O2 Academy’s beautiful and historic façade.”