Scape, the global student living specialist, has acquired the Australian Urbanest portfolio (‘Urbanest’) of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) assets from M3 Capital Partners’ Evergreen Real Estate fund.
As a global operator that started in the UK, Scape now has properties located around the world, with this latest acquisition of Urbanest marking a further step in the company’s growth.
Australian PBSA Fund (APF) was established in September 2019 in partnership with Scape’s cornerstone investor AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets (AXA), and anchor investor in Scape’s $500 million second development fund, Allianz Real Estate (Allianz), along with APG Asset Management (APG).
The acquisition of Urbanest includes 6,805 beds across 14 operational assets located in Sydney (seven assets), Melbourne (four assets), Brisbane (one asset) and Adelaide (two assets).
It follows Scape’s acquisition of the Atira Student Living platform in September 2019 consisting of six operational assets located in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide housing 3,510 students along with three development sites in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
The portfolio includes various locations, with assets located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and offers a range of properties, from premium studios to twin share rooms and cluster apartments. It also has an average asset age of circa 4.5 years.
The first of the Urbanest buildings was opened in Brisbane in 2010 and was the first generation of PBSA in Australia. The most recent buildings opened on Swanston Street in Melbourne in 2019 and in Darling Square in Sydney in 2018.
The portfolio benefits from a range of nomination agreements and preferred partnership agreements with eight leading Australian universities, resulting in a stable and strong occupancy rate.
Tom Ward, founder and global chief executive officer of Scape, comments: “We look forward to working with the Urbanest team to grow the opportunity at this exciting time for student accommodation globally.”
He says approved project financial (APF) is the first core fund of its type in Australia and aims to be the ‘investment vehicle for core PBSA assets in Australia’.
“APF plans to grow over time by including additional Scape Australia developments as they are completed and suitable high quality PBSA assets developed by third parties,” he adds.
“Within the next few months APF anticipates acquiring four completed assets that have been developed in the Scape JV1 Fund, including Scape’s flagship property, Scape Swanston (754 beds, opened in 2018) in Melbourne, Scape Abercrombie (54 beds, opened in 2017) in Sydney, Scape Southbank (798 beds, opened in 2018) and Scape Toowong (751 beds, opened in 2019) in Brisbane.”
“By that time, the fund’s portfolio will consist of 24 assets and almost 13,000 beds with an enterprise value of approx. $3.5 billion and a current pipeline of a further 9,000 beds in planning and under construction.”