Fund manager BlackRock has purchased a second student accommodation development site in Sheffield, taking the number of beds in its European Property Fund IV (EFIV) to more than 2,100 over five schemes.
The Sheffield site at Bramall Lane is next to an existing Sheffield asset acquired by BlackRock in 2016, and will provide another 190 beds under agreement with Sheffield Hallam University. In a statement on the new site, BlackRock said: “The scheme will capitalise upon the ‘place-making’ opportunities and operational efficiencies of providing 735 beds across two inter-connected schemes with strong high street frontage. The property will be developed and operated by long-standing partners of the BlackRock Real Estate platform, Victoria Hall Management Ltd (Host).”
It added that this is the eighth acquisition for the EFIV across Europe. Its €700 million in commitments have come from a broad range of institutional investors in 16 different countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. BlackRock’s James Halstead, vice president responsible for sourcing and managing value-add investments in the UK, added: “Student housing is an important focus sector for BlackRock Real Assets in the UK. It reflects EFIVs UK value-add strategy to invest in liquid assets with shorter duration business plans in low beta sectors. Sheffield is home to around 50,000 students, split evenly between Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield. There are approximately 2.6 students per purpose-built student accommodation.”