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Curlew’s Stratford scheme lifts PBSA spend to £1bn

UK company Curlew Capital has received planning approval for a 282-room purpose built student accommodation development in Stratford, East London.

The firm’s development arm, Curlew Opportunities, will construct the £60 million scheme, which will begin later this year with completion in time for the 2023-2024 academic year.

An existing 100-bed student property, Poland House, which was acquired by Curlew in 2019, will be demolished to make way for the 282 “cluster bed” scheme.

The site is located on Stratford High Street, close to Westfield Shopping Centre and the Olympic Park. Curlew is targeting a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating for the building, which it said will make the project one of only a handful of PBSA developments in the UK to achieve this.

Curlew now will have 467 PBSA beds in development in London. Across the UK, the company has six schemes in progress which will provide about  1,600 beds.

PBSA shows resilience over last year

“Despite the challenges faced by the PBSA sector over the past 12 months, it has proved itself to be remarkably resilient versus other use classes,” Curlew’s head of development Jim Sutherland said. “With the longer-term fundamentals highly compelling, we look forward to bringing forward our significant development pipeline, to meet what we believe will be growing demand from both domestic and overseas students.”

Curlew launched its first fund, Curlew Student Trust, in 2013, followed by CST2 in 2018, both of which were backed by clients of CBRE GIP. Curlew has, to date, committed over £1 billion to the PBSA sector, representing nearly 11,000 beds across 34 schemes in 23 major university markets; a mix of direct developments, refurbishment and forward fundings.