Accommodation for 650 students is under construction through a joint venture with student housing specialist Alumno. The two developments at Park Hill in Sheffield and Benedicts Gate in Norwich are the first in a series of schemes that will allow us to grow our student business.
Earlier this year we acquired a share in Alumno Group in order to increase the supply of student accommodation. The partnership has several other developments in the pipeline in cities including Edinburgh and London.
In Sheffield Beton House will provide 356 student bedrooms in the third phase of the redevelopment of Park Hill, where the area as a whole is being redeveloped by an Urban Splash and Places for People joint venture. The scheme transforms the brutalist Park Hill Estate, Europe’s largest Grade II listed building, which is situated behind Sheffield train station. The new student accommodation will be arranged in a series of shared flats laid out in an innovative three-storey townhouse model. There will also be shared common rooms and a student hub, with a strong emphasis on design and contemporary art. The building will be complete in time for the 2020 intake of students.
Benedicts Gate, in Norwich, will offer 302 en-suite or self-contained rooms for students, with communal kitchens and lounges. Also part of the plans are landscaping and outdoor space, a new car park and public art installations that will help link the new development to its setting. An investor has already come on board. The project is the third that Alumno has developed in the city, another of which is the 244-bed Pablo Fanque House, which was one of our earlier partnerships with Alumno.
Overseeing the joint venture, Tim Weightman, Group Executive Director - Assets and Investments at Places for People, commented: “Places for People is working with Alumno to identify locations where there is significant demand for student housing and where, by working together, we can create places that add value to the local area. Alumno’s design-led ethos will ensure that these are innovative yet practical developments where students will enjoy their university years. Combining Alumno’s excellence in design with the stability and financial backing of Places for People as a Group, we are in an ideal position to create cost-effective university residences that fulfil students’ needs and deliver great returns for investors and educational establishments.”
David Campbell, Managing Director of Alumno, said: “Places for People is the perfect partner for Alumno, given our shared commitment to creating well designed and special places for people to live, whatever the tenure. We see this as offering us the opportunity to build and expand on our past work and go to the next level, pushing the boundaries by building better and bolder communities for students and creatives alike. We look forward to delivering these exciting projects together.”