Aventicum Real Estate and CA Ventures form JV to develop PBSA in Italy

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CA Ventures (CA) and Aventicum Real Estate (Aventicum) have formed a new joint venture (JV) to develop purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) assets across Italy.

The JV announces its first PBSA development project totalling 540 beds in Milan, which will be situated next to Milan’s Citta Studi district, home to the Polytechnic University of Milan’s main campus and departments of the University of Milan. The Citta Studi district is the epicenter of student life in Milan with an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and retail destinations, as well as excellent transportation links. The property will offer the highest quality amenities available in the market and will be a leader in sustainability with both LEED Gold and Fitwel certifications. The project is aimed at meeting the significant excess demand for beds in Milan where the current ratio of students to available beds is approximately 18:1. The property is expected to welcome its first residents for the 2023 academic year and will be managed by CA’s in-house PBSA property management platform, Novel Student.

“Italy is rich with top tier universities that have established prominence on a global scale, leading to significant growth rates over the past few years,” says Carlo Matta, head of Europe for CA Ventures. “Despite this growth, there is a significant lack of high-quality PBSA assets and operators that sufficiently meet the needs of this generation of students. We are excited to partner with Aventicum on this venture, leveraging both teams’ expertise in the student housing industry. Our established team of experts in the Italian and broader European markets will allow us to deliver products and services that fulfill this widespread demand, exceed student expectations and support the continued innovation and advancement of the PBSA sector.”

In 2020, CA launched its PBSA property management platform, Novel Student, to operate its new development portfolio in the UK and Europe. The brand was thoughtfully designed with sustainability at its core – from inception to completion – and to reflect the needs and preferences of Generation Z students prioritising the “live, work, play” model, as well as integrated wellness. With the addition of the JV’s newly announced properties, Novel’s portfolio will include more than 2,500 beds under management across the UK and Europe.

“Covid-19 has underscored the need for quality, sustainable student living communities – a market that is currently undersupplied, especially in Italy,” says Christophe Tanghe, managing director and head of Aventicum Real Estate. “With more than 1.8 million students attending university and only 65,000 purpose-built beds in operation - a Provision Rate of only 3.6 per cent - Italy is one of the most undersupplied student housing markets in the EU. The managed student housing market, while still in its infancy in Italy, is projected to draw further institutional capital, attracted by the resilient performance of the asset class through economic cycles. Aventicum’s partnership with CA marks a significant strategic milestone, as we capitalise on the strong demand from students for quality accommodation and from investors for durable income-producing real estate investments."

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