Equitix, as part of the ‘Uliving’ consortium, has successfully reached financial close on a third phase of student accommodation with the University of Essex, consolidating its position as the University’s preferred long-term accommodation partner. ‘The Pastures’ will see the development of a further 1,262 rooms on the University’s Colchester campus, making Uliving the majority operator on site with over 3,300 rooms.
Equitix’s equity partner in the scheme is BY Development and the project has been funded by £113m of index-linked and fixed rate bonds, invested by Just Group and Royal London Asset Management. The bonds are listed on The International Stock Exchange and wrapped by Assured Guaranty.
Bouygues UK will build the accommodation, to be delivered by September 2023, which will allow the University to continue to provide an excellent student experience offering. It will deliver high quality affordable en-suite accommodation with social amenities focused at stimulating academic development. The design concept builds upon and relates to the best elements of the two existing phases, the Meadows and Copse developments, and will achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ certification, aligning with Equitix’s long term sustainable investment strategy.
Bouygues Energies & Services will provide facility management services under a 50 year contract post construction with Equitix Management Services providing SPV management throughout the concession.
Uliving’s partnership with the University of Essex is particularly important, as it was Equitix’s first investment into the student accommodation sector and laid the foundations for subsequent successful collaborations with institutions across the UK and Europe. This project sees the total Equitix portfolio grow to over 14,300 beds in construction or operations.
Hugh Crossley, Chief Investment Officer for Equitix said: “Equitix prides itself on its lasting partnerships and this project demonstrates the outstanding long-term relationship that it has built with the University of Essex. We are delighted to be a part of the continued growth and success of the University and are pleased to extend our strong track record in developing and operating outstanding accommodation that exceeds residents’ expectations.”