Project Montreal was a forward funding of six purpose built student accommodation assets that was originated by Generation on behalf of the Europa Generation Student Accommodation Fund.
The funding transaction resulted in the delivery of Watkins Jones 2018 pipeline delivering 1,691 new bed spaces in six strong locations across the United Kingdom.
Generation led the acquisition and due diligence process and assisted Europa Capital in arranging senior debt for the transaction. Post acquisition, Generation managed approval of the detailed design process to ensure that the layouts and interiors were optimised. Drawing on Generation’s considerable operation experience the team oversaw the third party manager, Fresh Student Living in mobilising the assets. In addition Generation has been responsible for the leasing of all commercial elements beneath the student accommodation buildings on behalf of the fund.
Generation first met Hattington Capital in mid 2014 when Hattington were looking for expertise in the Purpose Built Student Accommodation market in order to evaluate potential opportunities in Dublin. Generation assisted Hattington in appraising an opportunity on Thomas Street in Dublin 8 and in assembling a professional team to deliver a new student accommodation building. The site was acquired in 2014 and the building, Highlight Thomas Street (257 beds), opened in 2018 stabilising quickly. During the construction period, Generation helped Hattington create a local operational team to operate the asset. Following on from a successfully planning consent for Highlight Thomas Street, a second site was obtained in Dublin 7 the following year. This building, Highlight Parkgate (319 beds) opened in 2019 giving Hattington and Generation an operational platform of 576 beds in Central Dublin.
The Pure Student Living student accommodation platform was created as a result a joint venture between Carlyle European Real Estate Partners III and Generation Estates the aim of which was to establish a high quality, geographically spread portfolio in Central London.
Generation’s involvement with 60 Commercial Road pre-dated our joint venture with Carlyle as we provided consultancy advice on student accommodation scheme design and viability for the previous owner Derwent London.
After a competitive selection process, City University London selected Generation Estates to devise plans for the redevelopment of three obsolescent existing halls and to provide enhanced sports facilities to replace the Saddlers Sports Centre on a 1.5 acre site between Goswell Road, Bastwick Street and Peartree Street close to their Northampton Square Campus.
The site of the famous Hammersmith Palais was developed by the Generation / Carlyle joint venture and opened as Pure Hammersmith.
Close to Tate Modern, the building provides 150 stylish studios in a vibrant location on the South Bank.
The Nido Student Living platform evolved out of three separate standalone joint ventures between Generation Estates and different Blackstone funds.
The first transaction in Kings Cross at 200 Pentonville Road was structured as a subject to planning acquisition of a redundant office facility that had formerly been occupied by National Westminster Bank where Generation had spotted the potential for a sizeable mixed use regeneration scheme anchored by new student accommodation. The project was ground breaking in many areas including size, specification and service standards and certainly raised the bar for purpose built student accommodation in London.
The second project again involved a subject to planning acquisition of a former office building, Rodwell House near Liverpool Street Station in Spitalfields, where the existing consent for a new office tower was no longer viable. Again Generation and Blackstone set about devising a mixed use scheme anchored by student accommodation,this time contained in a bold and eye catching 33 storey tower.
The third project was smaller in scale located in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea on the banks of the Grand Union Canal but again was secured on a subject to planning basis in a transaction with Workspace Group. Planning Consent for this third scheme was acquired in September 2009 with the residence opening for the 2011/2012 academic year.
The parties initially considered an asset by asset disposal strategy but interest in the portfolio led to a sale of the original three Nido London assets and operating platform to Round Hill Capital in May 2012. Through the course of these projects Blackstone funds deployed circa £90M of equity achieving an equity multiplier on sale in excess of 3X. The properties developed by Generation and Blackstone are currently owned by PSP, one of Canada’s largest pension funds whilst Round Hill retained the Nido brand.
Adjacent to the Grand Union Canal in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, the site was acquired by Generation Estates in joint venture with The Blackstone Group from Workspace Group.