Piper’s crucial role in £62m sale of BBC site

Lawyers from DLA Piper’s Yorkshire offices have advised on the £62m acquisition of a former BBC costume store in West London.

The team advised buyer Unicity II Acton. The property is managed and operated by Knightsbridge Student Housing and The Student Housing Company.

DLA Piper provided real estate, construction, tax, commercial and banking advice on the 176,000 sq ft acquisition.

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Unicity and developer Berkeley First agreed last year to develop a 730-bedroom, 18-storey student accommodation scheme to service students at the University of the Arts London.

The building will open its doors to students in the coming autumn term.

The University of the Arts has exclusive rights to place its students in the property under a 21-year nominations agreement.

Stephen Blacksell, real estate partner at DLA Piper’s Sheffield office, said: “Occupying a convenient location with excellent transport links and offering state-of-the-art facilities, the development will help meet the rising demand for well‑located, quality student premises offered at reasonable rental levels.

“We have a strong track record in the student housing sector and were well‑placed to offer the advice needed to bring this acquisition to a successful completion in time for the start of the new university term.

“Drawing on expertise from a number of our specialisms meant we were able to provide comprehensive, joined up and quality advice across all aspects of this complex flagship development.”

Simon Pollitt, development director at Knightsbridge Student Housing, added: “The team at DLA Piper has been instrumental in helping us get this completion across the line in the timescale we needed. With a clear understanding of the market, they have provided us with invaluable advice throughout the acquisition process.”