CA Ventures launches in Europe

CA Ventures, a USD10.2 billion Chicago-based, real estate investment company, has launched in Europe with an expected GBP500 million per annum investment in the development of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in the UK and Ireland.

CA Ventures is a vertically integrated real estate investment firm with comprehensive, in-house development, asset management and property management capabilities. CA’s investments in US student housing have played a critical role in the firm’s success. CA Ventures pioneered the development of highly amenitised purpose-built student living communities in pedestrian to campus locations at some of the largest universities in the United States. CA has delivered some 50,000 beds in North America, and is now bringing their extensive experience to several European markets. CA has plans to invest GBP500 million a year in the UK and Ireland by 2021. CA Ventures will also be entering other European markets with commitments in its development pipeline of GBP300 million a year in The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
As part of the announcement, CA Ventures has unveiled three PBSA development schemes, backed by capital partner PGIM Real Estate through its European real estate value-add debt platform and senior debt through Investec, in the UK totaling 888 beds. The state-of-the-art facilities, which are expected to be ready for the 2021/2022 academic year, are:
• Glasgow: the development that will contain 422 beds, is situated next to the University of Strathclyde and within walking distance of Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Glasgow
• Edinburgh: the development will contain 216 beds and is accessible to both Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Edinburgh
• Sheffield: the development will contain 250 beds, is adjacent to Sheffield University and within walking distance of Sheffield Hallam University
CA Ventures immediate pipeline also includes; 257 beds in Dublin, Ireland; 251 beds in Belfast; and further schemes in Bristol, York and Edinburgh; which will all be delivered for the 2021/2022 academic year.
Currently, demand for PBSA in the UK significantly outweighs supply, where the current student to bed ratio is 3:1 and there is an expected increase in student numbers of 15 per cent between now and 2030. The proposed developments are in areas that are particularly undersupplied, with Edinburgh Council identifying that PBSA is required to relieve pressure from the private rental market. The UK Government has also recently added to the attraction of the UK as a market for overseas students with its offer to extend residency rights post-graduation to two years from the current four months.
Carlo Matta, Head of Europe, CA Ventures, says: “We are very pleased to announce the start of our first development schemes in Europe. Outside of the US; the UK is the largest destination for international students but remains severely under-supplied with purpose-built student accommodations. The UK Government’s recent extension to residency rights for international students, post-graduation, is a great signal to the global student community. We see a significant opportunity in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe, to deliver a modern, high quality student living experience. Limited supply, increasing obsolescence of older product and growing university enrolment has created a very favourable supply / demand dynamic, and we at CA Ventures have invested heavily in building out a development and property management infrastructure to execute our long-term growth plan. Across commercial real estate product types, we feel that student accommodation offers some of the best risk-adjusted returns given the ability to satisfy demand from both domestic and international students.”
Headed by Carlo Matta, who previously held senior roles at Optimum Asset Management, Actis and Hines, CA’s European headquarters are in Marylebone, London. The firm also has country officers in the Netherlands, Spain and Italy. CA is targeting GBP1.3 billion in ground up development starts in Europe over the next three years.