Watkin Jones secures funding for PBSA Scheme in Bristol

Watkin Jones secures funding for PBSA Scheme in Bristol

Developer Watkin Jones has secured funds managed by KKR to build a 819-bed purpose-built student housing (PBSA) scheme in Bristol. The consideration will be payable to Watkin Jones over the course of the development located in Dalby Avenue, Bedminster, which is due for completion in August 2024.

It includes an initial net cash receipt for Watkin Jones of around £25 million. KKR is making the investment through its European Core Plus Real Estate strategy, which focuses on thematic investments in high-quality, substantially stabilised assets with long-term growth potential.

Upon completion, the 819-bed scheme will be fully leased to The University of Bristol on a long-term basis. The development will deliver a mix of 5-12 bed cluster flats together with around 15,000 sq.ft. of internal amenity space and considerable external amenity space including a private terrace, courtyard, and gardens. The site has transport links to the University campuses and is located close to Bedminster train station and within walking distance to Bristol’s city centre.

With two established universities in the city, Bristol continues to be a leading destination of choice for students in higher education. However, accommodation in the UK’s eighth largest city is stretched across both the build-to-rent (BtR) and PBSA markets. The creation of the new major PBSA development in Bedminster is important in helping the city to address the on-going and increasing demand for student accommodation. The PBSA scheme is located in one of the five key sites identified in Bristol City Council’s Bedminster Green Framework as a priority for redevelopment.

Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer, Watkin Jones, said: “We are delighted to have secured our second deal with KKR, and would like to thank them for their efforts and partnership approach in reaching this agreement. This is an exciting opportunity to develop a key area of regeneration in the Bedminster area of Bristol for the ever-growing student needs in the city.

“The sale is further evidence of the attractive investment and operational fundamentals of both PBSA as a sector and Bristol as a city and a good sign of investment markets re-opening.

“Watkin Jones has a strong track record of developing PBSA schemes in Bristol as rising demand continues, including work recently completed at Wilder Street and Unity Street last year, in addition to work currently underway on a PBSA site on Gas Lane.

“We are really excited as Bristol is widely regarded as one of the UK’s top university towns for education but also it represents one of the most vibrant and inclusive cities for students to live. Offering a wide range of bars, shops, and restaurants, it is a city for students to enjoy.”

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