Clearbell Capital’s UK value-add fund has bought a student residence from UK housing association Optivo.

The manager’s Clearbell Property Partners III fund has acquired the Lucia Foster Welch student residence in Southampton for an undisclosed sum.

Clearbell said the 25-year-old building will be fully refurbished and is expected to be ready for letting in September 2021.

Rob Mills, partner at Clearbell Capital and the project lead, said: “Southampton is a vibrant and energetic student city, and Lucia Foster Welch is in the perfect spot for students.

“Whilst many students continue to study remotely and live at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we believe by September 2021 there should be a greater influx of students into Southampton who will benefit from a modern, secure and affordable place to live.”

Clearbell said it will work together with property consultancy Iceni Property Asset Management, whose brand Every Student will be responsible for the building’s operations and management.

Matthew McAdden, founding director and CEO at Iceni Property Asset Management said: “We are delighted to have launched Every Student, working in partnership with Clearbell.

”Our focus will be on delivering quality, affordably-priced accommodation, and on the wellbeing of our student customers.” 

Optivo, which acquired the 800-room Ocean Village site in 1995 on a 25-year deal with Solent University, has sold the asset in order to consolidate its student offering in London and Eastbourne.

Tom Paul, director of treasury and commercial at Optivo, said: “The deal with Solent has now come to its natural end, and the site needs reinvestment. This strategic disposal consolidates our direct let student accommodation business in London, where demand is strongest and where we benefit from operational and marketing synergies.

“The proceeds of the disposal support our investment into new social housing and refurbishment works planned and underway at our other student accommodation sites.”

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