Henderson Park and Hines acquire second student housing project in Barcelona


Henderson Park, a European real estate investment platform, and international real estate firm Hines, have completed the acquisition of a site in central Barcelona, Spain, for development of a 350-bed student housing asset, which will also comprise 3,610 sq m of office and 176 sq m of retail.

The scheme, ‘Cristobal de Moura’, is a site zoned for purpose-built student accommodation and is situated in the adjacent city block to Henderson Park and Hines’ existing ‘Aparto Diagonal Mar’, a 750-bed student housing project, which is under development and on track to be completed for the 2021/22 academic year.
 
This represents the third student accommodation investment acquired by Henderson Park and Hines’ joint venture, which targets value-add opportunities in the sector across strong European cities, where there are favourable supply / demand dynamics. Following this acquisition, the joint venture has assembled a development portfolio of 1,730 student beds, including a 630-bed development in Lancaster, UK, which is due to open in time for the 2019/20 academic year.
 
Both developments in Barcelona are situated in the 22@ Innovation District, offering excellent connectivity to nearby university campuses, which are within walking distance. Once complete, ‘Cristobal de Moura’, will include a number of amenities for students, including an outdoor swimming pool, gym and sport facilities, studying rooms, auditorium and a café. The asset will be managed by Hines’ in-house operating platform, Aparto, to ensure an enhanced experience for its student residents.
 
Barcelona was ranked eighth among the top-rated European destinations for international students according to the QS Best Student Cities 2017 rankings. The city is home to some of Spain’s most renowned universities and higher education institutions, including the University of Barcelona and Universitat Autonama de Barcelona. The provision rate of high quality, purpose-built student accommodation in Spain is low and lags behind other leading destinations such as the UK, France and the Netherlands.
 
Nick Weber, Founding Partner of Henderson Park, says: “The attractive fundamentals of the student housing market and the current lack of institutional-backed product in Barcelona presents a unique window for investment, which we are capitalising on. Hines is a world class operator in this space and together we remain focused on progressing our existing projects across both Spain and the UK and creating high quality living environments for students.”
 
Lars Huber, CEO of Hines Europe, says: “Our latest acquisition with Henderson Park continues our strategy of targeting development and value-add student accommodation opportunities in Europe’s leading university cities. This project will complement our existing scheme in Barcelona and will be overseen by our growing team in Spain, led by Vanessa Gelado, while our Aparto platform will ensure we deliver not only the highest quality accommodation, but also an exceptional student experience.”

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