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Greystar completes €98m Utrecht PBSA deal with KKR

Rental housing specialist Greystar Real Estate Partners has acquired a purpose-built student accommodation complex in Utrecht, The Netherlands, for €98.5 million.

Greystar bought the asset from investment firm KKR in an off market deal on behalf of a managed fund.

The complex has 682 units of which 463 are in a new 24-storey building and 219 are in a refurbished nine-storey former hospital wing. The development was completed in October 2020.

Apartments have fully equipped kitchens and private bathrooms and access to amenities including a gym operated by a third party, a private dining room, an internal courtyard garden, rooftop terrace, flexible work/study spaces, kitchen clubroom, and a lounge where students can meet and relax. There is also an on-site launderette, covered car parking and secure bike storage.

The complex is situated on Van Heuven Goedhartplein, accessible from all of Utrecht’s major higher education institutions including Utrecht University and the HU University of Applied Sciences.

Greystar will focus on letting the remaining units, which are mainly situated in the newly refurbished hospital building.

The asset will operate under a newly created European brand that will be launched at a later date, Greystar said in a statement.

Next generation student housing

Greystar managing director, Netherlands, Mark Kuijpers, said: “The asset is a very good example of next generation student housing, which fits our operational vision, and sits squarely within one of our target markets for expansion.”

He said that the student population in Utrecht consists of mainly Dutch nationals and has increased by 40% over the last 15 years. There is a shortfall of around 5,500 units to meet demand, as well as a lack of new development on the horizon.

“Despite any short-term impact to occupancy as a result of the pandemic, we expect to see continued rental growth with limited risks from a weak economy and labour market. These factors tend to increase student numbers as graduated students ‘retool’ for the recovery stage in the cycle,” said Mark Allnutt, senior managing director, Europe, Greystar.

Greystar was advised by Houthoff, Savills and PwC.