Chicago-headquartered real estate fund manager Harrison Street has entered the Montreal student housing market through a joint venture with local developer WerkLiv.

Harrison Street, which focuses on specialist real estate sectors, has acquired Le Mildoré, a 279-bed, purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) project developed by WerkLiv.

The property was completed in August last year. It is 99% occupied and centrally located in downtown Montreal, close to McGill University and Concordia University.

Harriston Street said Le Mildoré was one of a limited number of PBSA projects in Montreal with three and four-bedroom apartment configurations and provides some of the highest-quality amenities in the city’s student housing market.

Jonathan Turnbull, head of transactions and business development for Canada at Harrison Street, said: “Le Mildoré will help fill a significant void for purpose-built student housing in Montreal, which has an estimated student population of 139,000 and among the largest shortage of student accommodations in Canada.

“The current shortfall in units designed for student occupancy in downtown Montreal is approximately 47,000 – representing a large, unfilled market opportunity.”

Turnbull added: “The property not only reflects Harrison Street’s strategy of investing in unique, high-quality assets that serve significant market needs, but also our commitment to integrating ESG throughout our business.

“Le Mildoré was developed with materials and methods designed to produce lower GHG emissions, which will advance our goals to lower carbon emissions by improving the energy efficiency of the building.”

The acquisition is the 13th investment by Harrison Street’s Canada Alternative Real Estate Fund, which has deployed more than CAD$925m (€646m) since it was launched in 2021.

The fund is targeting investments in senior living, student housing, medical office, life sciences, storage and digital assets throughout Canada.