Harrison Street, GSA JV agree €200m Irish student accommodation deal

The Harrison Street Real Estate Capital and Global Student Accommodation Group (GSA) joint venture has increased its Irish student accommodation portfolio in a €200m deal.

The joint venture said the new transaction will add two purpose-built student accommodation developments in Dublin, and two developments in Cork, where GSA will be operating for the first time.

It will add a total of 1,325 student accommodation beds, increasing the total number of beds delivered under joint venture to 3,200.

The joint venture is investing in projects alongside funds managed by NTM Capital.

GSA and Harrison Street launched a joint venture in 2015 to target student accommodation in Ireland.

As part of the newly announced transaction, GSA will be entering the Cork market with two Uninest Student Residences; a 190-bed development close to the entrance of University College Cork on Western Road, which will open in September 2018; and a 413-bed residence on a former Beamish Brewery site in the city centre opening in 2020. 

GSA will also continue to expand its Dublin portfolio with two new residences; a 402-bed development adjacent to the Grangegorman campus; and a 320-bed development close to GSA’s existing Broadstone Hall property, both opening in time for the new academic year in 2019, it said.

Nick Richards, GSA’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: “While Ireland maintains its reputation for having some of the best academic institutions globally, there will continue to be strong demand for high-quality purpose-built student accommodation from both home and international students. 

“This is another boost to GSA’s wider European growth strategy and to our presence in Ireland. It has been achieved by working collaboratively with a number of local parties, all of whom are inspired to be creating a new standard of purpose-built student accommodation to the benefit of students and the regeneration of communities.”

Robert Mathias, a senior managing director and head of international at Harrison Street, said: “We are excited to continue our long-standing partnership with GSA and add much-needed, high-quality student accommodation to Dublin and Cork. 

“As one of the largest private investors in student housing, we look forward to bringing our significant resources and experience to bear in the growing and attractive Irish market for the benefit of our partners and investors.”

US-based investment manager Harrison Street is currently investing on behalf of its second European fund, Harrison Street European Property Partners II.

The fund focuses on acquisitions and developments in the student accommodation and speciality residential sectors throughout Europe.

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