Axa IM Alts pays €40m for its first Italian PBSA asset

AXA IM Alts is paying CDS Holdings about €40 million for a 400-bed purpose built student accommodation project adjacent to the University of Florence’s new Novoli campus.

The forward-purchase deal has been arranged on behalf of clients of AXA IM Alts.

Planning permission has already been obtained and construction is now underway with completion scheduled for 2023. The facility will provide about 400 fully equipped studio rooms on six storeys. The building will also include a gym, cinema, and games room, in addition to a shared lounge, kitchen areas and lobby. CRM Students, the Pan-European student housing specialist, has been appointed as the asset’s operator.

Outdoor spaces will include including a landscaped courtyard garden and a rooftop terrace, while also having access to plentiful parking spaces via an underground car park. The building is being developed in line with AXA IM Alts’ global sustainability strategy and will target either BREEAM or LEED Gold sustainability certifications.

Florence is one of Italy’s key destinations for higher education but has a shortage of purpose-built student accommodation. There are 62,000 domestic and international students in the city including 23,400 students requiring accommodation. However, there are only four beds available per 100 students.

This acquisition is AXA IM Alts’ first PBSA acquisition in Italy although the company manages €3.5 billion of student accommodation assets in 15 countries.