Shipping Containers Used to Build Student Housing

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A student housing development in Glasgow is being constructed using shipping containers.

In a construction process being described as similar to Lego, the new student accommodation is situated close to the River Clyde in the west end of Glasgow, on an old industrial site.

The current site has been left empty for a number of years and it's hoped the student accommodation scheme will provide a new lease of life to the area.

Over the past two months 500 shipping containers have arrived on site and have been stacked on top of each other to provide a seven-storey student accommodation block.

The steel containers were made in a factory in China and shipped over to the port of Southampton before making their way to Glasgow.

Commenting on the development, managing director of True Student, Marc Carter, said: "A very large 500-tonne mobile crane was used to load them on to the site much like you or I would have loaded Lego when we were small.

"It is a little more technical than that but it is essentially a Lego system of construction and we can go up to 15 storeys tall."

Due to its design the project has moved forward at an incredible pace. In less than 10 weeks the empty site has been transformed into student accommodation for 500 students.

In addition to the student beds there will also be a karaoke room, a cinema and a helter-skelter slide between floors.

Due to the containers uniformed shape, there have been concerns it could lead to an uninspiring development. Although as Mr Carter noted, once complete it will be unrecognisable as a series of shipping containers and it will be clad just like any other modern building.


Durham Student Housing Moves Forward

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Work is underway to demolish a series of former Durham businesses to make way for new student accommodation.

The Claypath buildings previously consisted of a restaurant, an old Kwikfit, and a former cinema.

Developer Student Castle received planning permission to build the mixed-use development in 2015, which under its current design, will result in the construction of a 445-bed student accommodation scheme. In addition to the student housing there will also be a small cinema and gym as well as retail space.

When the original planning application was submitted, developers suggested the site would provide an opportunity to respond to the city's aspiration to reinvigorate the commercial potential of Claypath by driving additional footfall into the street.

They also argued the site was an appropriate location for student accommodation as it resides close to the city centre and their place of study.

However, since the original application was submitted, the developers have lodged a separate application to increase the number of student beds at the development to 477. This has raised concerns from some residents over the mass of the development as well as the current supply of student accommodation in the area, which is deemed to be excessive.


Crosslane Property Group Seeks Funding Partner for 3,300 Student Beds

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Crosslane Property Group (CPG) is seeking a partner to put up £325 million to forward-fund its entire student accommodation pipeline.

The portfolio, which is being sold under the name Project Echo, consists of more than 3,300 student bed spaces across 10 cities in the UK and Ireland.

It's estimated that once constructed, the assets will produce a net operating income of £20m a year and a yield of 8.3%.

The pipeline consists of 13 sites, two of which are already under construction, one in Swansea where planning is secured, three where planning permission is yet undecided, two where the site has been secured and a further five which are in the process of being acquired.

The first two schemes are due for completion this September and consists of 571 beds split between Newcastle and Manchester. The remaining student developments are scheduled for completion by September 2019.

CPG already has a portfolio of over 3,100 beds valued at around £216m and has appointed KPMG and PwC as joint advisors on the sale.

Under the deal, it's expected that the winning investor will purchase the land once planning permission has been granted and pay £242m to fund the development phase, with a lump sum being paid at practical completion to take the total cost of the acquisition to £325m.

CPG is also seeking to act as the developer as well as provide asset and property management to the investor once the student property has been built.


100-bed Student Scheme in Aberdeen Approved

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Plans put forward to develop student accommodation next to a popular city pub in Aberdeen have been approved.

Aberdeen City Council has given the green light to build purpose-built student accommodation next to the Bobbin Mill pub on King Street.

Submitted by West Coast Estates last year, the development will result in the creation of 100 student beds, as well as up to three retail units.

The scheme will also include space for 50 bicycles as well as a dedicated garden.

Director of West Coast Estates, Iftikar Mian suggested the current site was an eye soar, but an ideal location for student accommodation.

Mr Mian added: "We are delighted that the plans have been approved by Aberdeen City Council.

"We have sought to work closely with the council and indeed all those with an interest in the proposals and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their input.
There are very few locations in the city that have such an enviable setting, one that is directly adjacent to the University of Aberdeen but importantly has excellent connectivity to the city centre and beyond.

"Significant investment will now come forward to transform this eyesore into a carefully and well thought-out mixed-use development that residents and others can be proud of."


98 Student Beds Earmarked for Former Coventry Office

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A former newspaper office in Coventry is set to become student flats if planning permission is granted.

The student accommodation earmarked for Greyfriars House will come equipped with a private gym and cinema.

Developers Blue Bear Management Ltd want to create a total of 98 student beds split across a mix of one, two and three bedroom flats.

To facilitate the student bedrooms, they would also need to add a further two storeys to the building, resulting in a five-storey block.

If given the go-ahead students that accommodate the building will have to sign a contract agreeing not to park within two miles of the building apart from in pay-and-display car parks.

In addition to the gym, common room and cinema available to students, there will also be a bicycle store with enough room for 33 bicycles.

The current building is situated at the back of the former Coventry Post Office, which has already been developed into student housing, but has remained unused after the law firm Newsome Vaughan vacated the property.

A decision on the application is expected to be made at the beginning of June.


UniCity Pulls Out of Belfast Student Development

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Plans to build one of Belfast's largest student accommodation developments has been put on hold after the site was put up for sale.

Developer UniCiti had planned to build an 11-storey student accommodation scheme with 354 bedrooms. Originally the developers had lined up Collegiate AC to manage the accommodation once operational.

Situated on Little Patrick Street, the vacant land is now being marketed and sold off as a "student development opportunity".

The plans were given the green light by Belfast City Council last year, but now the land has gone on the market with commercial property firm Savills.

According to promotional material "the property is perfectly positioned for student accommodation, approximately 200m from the new Ulster University campus and 350m from the Central Library".

Around 4,000 student bed spaces have already been approved in Belfast, with many of those located in and around the York Street area, close to the new Ulster University campus.

UniCity had argued, even if all managed beds were approved and built it would account for less than 25% of all available student beds, which is a lower proportion than many other cities.

However, others have suggested there isn't the demand for thousands of student beds, which have already been granted planning permission.

In particular, Dairmid Laird of lettings agents Laird believes students will continue to favour cheaper, privately-owned housing over purpose-built student accommodation.


Keele University Wins Approval for Its Student Housing Transformation

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Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough council have unanimously approved plans by UPP and Keele University to build £160m worth of new student accommodation.

The scheme will transform student housing on the Keele University campus, providing around 1,300 students with accommodation by increasing available student bed spaces to 4,300 over the next five years.

The University wishes to expand from 10,000 to 13,000 students by 2020 and the construction of 2,300 high-quality affordable rooms will help the university meet this ambition.

Work is due to start later this year and will be undertaken in a number of phases. The scheme will see new build projects at the Lindsay, Horwood and Barnes halls on the university's main campus.

This latest partnership will boost UPP's portfolio to around 36,000 rooms through long-term partnerships with 16 leading universities across the UK. Once the deal goes through, UPP will have invested around £2bn in universities across the UK since 1998.

Planning consultants, Indigo Planning, said of the application: "Following a comprehensive and successful public consultation, this scheme is considered a welcome addition to the university by staff, students and local residents alike and will be a real asset to the University's vision for the future.

"It is a stand-out scheme, the comprehensive accommodation enhancement and expansion programme will further improve Keele's world-class campus, alongside its current exemplar teaching facilities."


Falmouth Student Development Faces Increasing Opposition

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Residents looking to block plans to build student housing on the former Coachworks site off Penwerris Lane in Falmouth have won the support of the town council.

Plans were put forward by AGR Living to build a 135-bed student accommodation scheme, but quickly faced tough opposition. In total 136 objections were lodged with Cornwall Council and Falmouth Town Council's planning committee has now also backed residents' opposition to the plans.

Local residents argued the student housing scheme was totalling out of keeping with the local area, would place a strain on local infrastructure and would lead to problems with highways and parking.

The objections were supported by councillors who unanimously recommended Cornwall Council refused the application.

According to councillors the massing of the development would significantly change the street scene, parking in the area would be exacerbated and the transport plan submitted as part of the application was inadequate.

Commenting on the proposals, councillor Alan Jewell said: "Something will go there, now is our chance to push for something for local people to go there. I think people who live there would be more supportive of that. I cannot support this."


Mapletree Raises $535 Million for Its Student Accommodation Trust

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Singapore-listed Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd has successfully raised $535 million for its Mapletree Global Student Accommodation Private Trust (MGSA P-Trust).

The Singapore-based trust focuses on the student accommodation market and currently holds around $1.3 billion in student housing assets, totalling 14,000 beds, across the UK and United States.

Around $243.25 million of equity was raised for the 5,910-bed UK portfolio and $291 million for the 8,363-bed US portfolio. The funding has a term of five years, with a provision for a one-year extension.

The Trust is managed by Mapletree Real Estate Advisors Ptd. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mapletree. The group company will retain a 35% stake in MGSA P-Trust, within the range of stakes it has taken in its other sponsored funds and trusts.

The largest investors include The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited, as well as DBS Bank and UBS AG, who are investing in the Trust on behalf of their high net worth clients.

Commenting on the funding, Mapletree's Group CEO, Hiew Yoon Khong, said: "The successful close of MGSA P-Trust is testament to investors' confidence in Mapletree's track record of delivering the desired returns levels. Opting for the private track also allowed us to bring the product to market quickly, and is more cost effective to set up and operate on an ongoing basis, without the lengthy process to launch and IPO and the increasing compliance costs to maintain a REIT."

Hiew also indicated the company will continue to develop innovate real estate investment products and that investors into MGSA P-Trust will be able to achieve strong returns from an asset class proven to be relatively anti-cyclical.


Nottingham Trent Proposes Office Space for Former Indian Restaurant

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Nottingham Trent University have submitted plans to build a 16,300 sq ft office building on the site of a former Indian restaurant on Goldsmith Street.

If approved, the offices would be able to accommodation 200 people on the site of the demolished former Posh Spice building at 23 Goldsmith Street, located next to Rescue Rooms and Stealth.

Nottingham Trent University says it wants to build the office space to "further cement the university's profile in the area."

Commenting on the application, director of estates and resources for Nottingham Trent University, Ged O'Donoghue, said: "Nottingham Trent University is keen to regenerate the site and we have submitted planning permission for the construction of a new building. We are in the process of drawing up detailed proposals for its future use, which could include office and teaching space."

Architects CPMG have been designated as designing the development and suggested take up for office space had been constrained due to the lack of quality A grade office space. This has resulted in a requirement of 250,000 sq ft.

They also said: "If there is to be continued growth within these sectors and other office based industries it is essential that there is a continued investment into grade A office space. Under investment in this area could lead to Nottingham losing its position as a regional centre for business and being unable to compete with other Core Cities such as Bristol, Leeds and Manchester."