Student accommodation specialist Future Generation has successfully completed the £25 million Hythe Mills project in Colchester, Essex – its first purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme.
Future Generation – the PBSA arm of developer Southern Grove – says the scheme is ‘a model of what top tier student accommodation will offer well into the future’, with shared spaces designed to encourage social interaction and healthy lifestyles.
Hythe Mills, built by the Kier construction company, was fully pre-let in February amid intense local competition for high-quality student accommodation.
Located in Hawkins Road, the complex boasts 229 bedrooms, an interactive studio and a riverside networking hub. The fitness suite is equipped with virtual training programs including Spin, Body Pump and Body Combat, and is delivered in partnership with world-leading group fitness specialist Les Mills.
London-based architect Levitt Bernstein created a mix of en-suite rooms and studios across the scheme’s riverfront setting, with landscaped grounds edging the River Colne in the centre of the town. Two thirds of the rooms have been let at affordable levels below market rents.
The scheme was delivered as a joint venture with investment company Tadhamon Capital. All tenants – most of whom attend the University of Essex – benefit from the developer’s partnership with Samsung, which sees Samsung digital appliances, TVs and air conditioning installed in every room.
Andrew Southern, chairman of Southern Grove and Future Generation, says: “I’m incredibly proud of this development. It’s the first of a number of student developments we are working on and it’s also the first project we’ve done with Samsung.”
“The quality of the accommodation offered is second to none and we’re leaving clear water between us and the competition.”
He adds: “We absolutely refuse to create schemes that aren’t design led, and Hythe Mills is a thing of beauty. We are determined that we are not going to end up among the ranks of developers whose buildings are pointed out in 30 years’ time as examples of hasty mistakes created by accountants. It’s all about the environment and an architectural legacy, as much as turning a profit.”