Two prime city centre sites in York and Glasgow have been acquired by Select Property Group. Combined, the sites have a gross development value of £140 million and are to be converted into much-needed accommodation for the cities’ rising student populations. 969 self-contained studios will be made available as a result of the scheme.
Under the umbrella of its Vita Student brand, Select Property Group will develop, let and manage the sites. The company, which already has sites in Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol, Liverpool, Exeter and Southampton, provides students with state-of-the-art studios and facilities. These include gyms, movie theatres and bespoke study areas.
The 6.3 acre site in York, located at St Joseph’s Convent on Lawrence Street, is Vita Student’s first student village and is within walking distance of the University of York and the city centre. The convent, which will be completely refurbished, will include an extra 14 three and four storey buildings, with extensive landscaped grounds also part of the initiative.
In Glasgow, meanwhile, the 2.9 acre site is strategically situated next to the University of Glasgow in the popular West End area of the city. This area is currently undergoing a £1.2 billion regeneration project to further increase its appeal.
“Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and houses six universities which attract an international market of more than 80,000 students as one of Europe’s most popular places to study,” said Mark Stott, CEO of Select Property Group, explaining why both purchases represent a major milestone for the business.
“With year-on-year rental rates rising by 1.6% in April, our new Vita Student development presents a compelling proposition for students and investors alike. Similarly, the York site presents a unique opportunity to deliver distinctive, high quality accommodation in this popular student city. Its proximity to both the city centre and University of York has made it an optimum location we’ve been keen to secure for some time.”
He added: “Our revolutionary end-to-end service means that we develop, let and manage our properties, ensuring the best possible service for customers. Glasgow and York are both ideal additions to our existing portfolio of more than 1000 student beds across leading university towns and cities throughout the UK.”
Work on the Glasgow site will begin shortly, while the York build is scheduled to start in September 2015.