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New student scheme to be delivered on the edge of Leeds city centre

Funding has been secured for a 407-bed student scheme on a prime site in Leeds, it has been revealed.

Gregory Property Group has announced forward funding to deliver the student residential scheme on the outskirts of Leeds city centre.

In November last year, planning consent was granted for the £30 million-plus scheme located on a prominent site on Bingley Street. 

Until recently, the site was occupied for over three decades by Maxi’s restaurant, which has the claim to fame of being the first purpose-built Chinese restaurant in the UK.

Forward funding was secured from Curlew Alternative Asset Management (Curlew) and Leeds-based GMI Construction Group were subsequently appointed with a £21.5 million contract to build ‘The Refinery’.

The 9, 10 and 11-storey scheme, designed by AHR Architects, includes studios and bedroom clusters with terrace and garden features. Facilities will include shared social hubs, a cinema, gym, games room, concierge and state-of-the-art 24-hour security.

“We are delighted to provide the forward funding for The Refinery,” Ian Scott, head of investment management for Curlew, said. 

“It will provide high-quality accommodation for students and will be a further excellent addition to our portfolio of student accommodation across the United Kingdom.”

Barry Gregory, chairman of Gregory Property Group, added: “We are pleased to have secured funding for an immediate start on site. The scheme’s design is impressive, delivering high-quality accommodation for Leeds students in a prime location that connects student life to the vibrant city centre in a matter of minutes.”

He said that Leeds remains a top ten university destination in the UK and, with a growing student population of around 60,000 students, the city needs more homes. “We expect to complete the development in time for occupation from the September 2020 university term and Fresh Student Living will be managing that occupation on behalf of Curlew,” he concluded.

Gregory Property Group - a long-established local developer responsible for a number of landmark developments in Leeds – has previously worked on office schemes on Wellington Street and Whitehall Road, while also delivering the award-winning £40 million Broad Street Plaza mixed-use scheme in Halifax.

Meanwhile, this latest scheme will be Curlew’s 28th purpose-built student accommodation asset across two specialist funds totalling around 9,000 rooms.

Russell Hefferan of Cushman & Wakefield’s Manchester office, which along with Michael Leonard of Carisbrooke Estates acted on behalf of Gregory Property Group in the acquisition of the site and forward funding, said: “We have been delighted to advise Gregory Property Group on the forward funding of this asset within a prime location of the Leeds student market. In Leeds demand for PBSA remains strong, especially when advised on the right micro-location. The proposed scheme’s specification and cluster/studio mix is an excellent fit for students’ requirements for accommodation in Leeds.”

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