Empiric commits to forward funded development in Portsmouth: Europa House

The Board of Empiric Student Property plc, the owner and operator of premium student accommodation across the UK, is pleased to announce that the Group has acquired the site and entered into a forward funding arrangement in relation to a development in Portsmouth, known as Europa House. The project comprises a 242 bed redevelopment to create a new premium student accommodation scheme, for a total investment of £21.25 million.

The Group has acquired the 199 year lease of the site and has simultaneously entered into a development agreement to forward fund the scheme. The existing building is located in central Portsmouth, equidistant between the University of Portsmouth and the Gunwharf Quays shopping and leisure centre.  The property was previously offices, comprising a 12 storey office block and a three storey annex, all of which will be converted to student accommodation in the form of studios and two, three and four bed apartments.

Stuart Properties Ltd will be responsible for the development.  The full amount required for the development will be invested in stages against development milestones.

This acquisition is the Group’s second in Portsmouth and, once complete, will take the number of beds owned by the Group in the city to 283, all of which will be managed through the Hello Student® operating platform. The development is expected to be delivered for summer 2017, in time for the 2017/18 academic year.

Paul Hadaway, Chief Executive of Empiric Student Property plc, commented:

“This property is the Company’s second acquisition in Portsmouth. With a history dating back to 1869, the University of Portsmouth now boasts over 20,000 students on campus, of which over 80 per cent are in full-time study, 16 per cent are postgraduates and 18 per cent come from outside the UK.  We are pleased to enhance our presence in the city and expect to be able to derive operational efficiencies between the two properties, in due course. This acquisition is in line with Empiric’s investment criteria.”