Signal Capital Partners, Griffin Capital Partners and Echo Investment have launched a student housing platform in Poland, aiming to develop 5,000 beds over the next three to five years.

The joint venture will consist of a 70% stake held by a partnership with Signal Capital as the majority shareholder and Griffin Capital with Polish developer Echo Investment holding the remaining 30% stake in the platform.

Griffin Capital is expected to act as the investment and asset manager for the venture with Echo Investment taking the role of a development manager.

Colman McCarthy, partner of real estate investments at Signal Capital, said the Polish purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) is one of the largest student markets in Europe with over 1.2m students, of which over 100,000 are international students.

“However, the existing public university accommodation often fails to meet students’ expectations, as the buildings are often outdated with limited amenities.

“We observe a massive shortage of modern private PBSAs, with bed provisions for full-time students in private and modern PBSA amounting to only 1.6%, which is five to 10 times lower than in Western European cities. This sets the stage for rapid growth of our new platform,” McCarthy added.

Nebil Senman, co-owner and managing partner at Griffin Capital Partners, said: “We strongly believe in the living sector and are convinced that this sector in Poland has many years of stable growth ahead of it. Now we have the ambition to create, once again, a market-leading platform in Poland, confident that with Signal Capital, we have the right partner sharing our vision to capitalize quickly and consistently on the undersupplied PBSA market.”

Nicklas Lindberg, CEO of Echo Investment, said: “While our goal is to develop a minimum of 5,000 student beds over the next three to five years, the first ones are expected to be launched in Warsaw and Krakow, with plans for opening in September 2025.

“The sites have already been secured, and we have identified further opportunities which we are currently analysing in detail, including locations in other key academic centres such as Wroclaw, Tri-City and Poznan. We will prioritise projects distinguished by their accessibility, top quality and sustainability, with proximity to universities.”

To read the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.