A multi-million pound student accommodation development in the heart of Newcastle has been acquired by a listed London investment group.
Empiric Student Property plc, which was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange last June, has acquired the freehold of the terraced properties being converted into luxury student housing on Claremont Place, set close to both Newcastle and Northumbria Universities.
The Grade II listed building is currently owned and is being developed by Ziggurat Student Living, which plans to complete the project in time for the forthcoming student academic year.
After Ziggurat took on the development the project was valued at £7.5m.
Empiric, which owns 25 others student properties across the UK, has made the acquisition for £11m and the group will benefit from a 100% rental guarantee from the developer for the 2015/16 academic year.
Paul Hadaway, chief executive of Empiric Student Property plc, said: “Newcastle is an ideal target city for Empiric – an exciting student city with two popular universities.
“Newcastle University is a Russell Group university which attracts some 23,000 students from around the world and with a high proportion of post-graduate students.
“Northumbria University, one of the largest universities in the UK, is a research-rich, business-focused institution with over 28,000 students. This acquisition is in line with Empiric’s investment criteria and returns profile.”
Gateshead-based Portland Consulting Engineering and Boldon-based contractors Opus Building Services have been involved in the conversion, which has seen eight adjoining properties in Claremont Place transformed into 88 high-spec, self-contained studio apartments of varying sizes.
The eight buildings had been put up for sale by Newcastle University in 2012, and lengthy design work was carried out to make sure the original 19th-century townhouse features are kept in place.
The property is currently taking bookings for the 2015/16 academic year, with prices starting at £160 a week for a standard studio, going up to £245 per week for the platinum studios, which are being marketed as the ultimate in luxurious student living, described as being perfect for couples or student who enjoy a lot of space.
The studios have en-suite bathrooms, stylish and fully kitted-out modern kitchens, contemporary furniture and broadband/internet in every studio.
Atelier Property Asset Management, a company related to Ziggurat, will continue to manage the property on behalf of Empiric.