Q Investment Partners enters London PBSA market
Transactions - SEPTEMBER 19, 2023

Q Investment Partners enters London PBSA market

by Andrea Zander

Singapore-headquartered private equity firm Q Investment Partners (QIP) and Hurlington Capital, the London-based investor and developer, have formed a joint venture to develop an £80 million ($99 million) gross development value purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) site in Woolwich, London. Work on the site is due to commence in first quarter 2024, with anticipated completion in time for the 2026–2027 academic year.

Representing QIP’s entrance to the London PBSA market, the site at 81-88 Beresford Street was acquired by Hurlington Capital in 2020 and is situated in a prime location as part of the multibillion-pound regeneration of the former Royal Arsenal. With planning consent secured in August 2022, it is the first PBSA scheme in the regeneration area and will deliver 298 beds through a 50-50 mix of studios and cluster rooms.

James Coppack, head of development at Q Investment Partners, said: "Our Woolwich Royal Arsenal site will be the first in the United Kingdom which we lead as development managers through our QIP Development Group — and what a scheme to start with. Set within one of London’s most successful regeneration areas, surrounded by heritage buildings and the stunning new Elizabeth line station, our commitment to this project reinforces our expertise in and our confidence in the fundamentals of the United Kingdom’s student housing sector. This marks an important moment in our continued growth as an integrated leader in the residential sector and our first collaboration with Hurlington Capital, which we are extremely excited about.”

With national rail, DLR and Elizabeth line stations all within a five-minute walk, the development boasts exceptional transport links. Eight major universities are within 40 minutes, including the University of Greenwich, University College London, the London School of Economics and King’s College London, as well as a host of international schools, colleges and universities with campuses in Canary Wharf, the Docklands, central and even west London as a result of connectivity from the Elizabeth line.

As part of an extensive community engagement program during the planning process, plans for the building also include a hub on the ground floor that will offer a meeting space for local community groups. It provides 35 percent affordable student accommodation and will target BREEAM Excellent and EPC A ratings.

The project is the first joint venture between QIP, a Singaporean-headquartered private equity real estate investor, and Hurlington Capital, a specialist investor and developer in London’s residential sector. QIP is investing the primary equity with alignment equity from Hurlington Capital, and both parties will share development management responsibilities — the first such time that QIP through its QIP Development Group (QIPDG) subsidiary will lead as development manager.

Woolwich is QIP’s ninth asset in the United Kingdom and its debut in the London PBSA market, serving as a milestone in its strategy to deliver 2,000 beds across prime university cities. The scheme is Hurlington Capital’s first PBSA asset, having been active in the residential for-sale and co-living markets for its decade in operation, and marks an entrance to London’s PBSA market that also sees three further assets in planning with ambitions to expand further.

“Marking our debut in the PBSA market, with three more schemes in planning, we’re immensely proud of our Woolwich development,” said Jamie Feldman, CEO and founder of Hurlington Capital. “There is a clear undersupply in student housing in London, which has resulted in this becoming a deeply attractive sector for those of us who have the risk appetite, backed by the expertise and strong track record, to take advantage of the opportunity. Alongside Q Investment Partners, an established leader in the U.K.’s PBSA sector, we look forward to delivering much-needed high-quality accommodation in a prime location.”

Peter Young, CEO and co-founder of Q Investment Partners, said, “The United Kingdom’s PBSA market remains remarkably resilient and a compelling opportunity for investors who know the sector in detail. Hurlington Capital’s knowledge of the London residential market and ability to unlock complex planning challenges provides us with an exciting moment to expand and commit our capital into attractive schemes, such as this at Woolwich’s Royal Arsenal, and we look forward to working with them to explore further opportunities.”

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