Real estate investment firm CA Ventures has launched a new property management platform to operate the company’s growing student housing portfolio throughout Europe. The platform, Novel Student, will begin by managing three upcoming communities in the U.K. with a total of 897 beds that are slated to deliver for the 2021-22 academic year.
Chicago-based CA announced the trio of projects in September 2019, marking its first foray into European purpose-built student accommodation. At the time, the company said it planned to invest $625 million per year to develop student housing in the UK and Ireland by 2021. Additional projects are scheduled to deliver in 2022 and 2023 across the U.K., Ireland, Spain, Italy and Poland.
CA developed all three state-of-the-art properties that will comprise Novel’s initial portfolio in Sheffield, England and the Scottish cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh:
- Sheffield: Hillside House (250 beds) at 86 Winter St., near Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University
- Glasgow: Bridle Works (422 beds) at 350 Cathedral St., near the University of Strathclyde, University of Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian University
- Edinburgh: Silk Mill (225 beds) at 162 Dundee St., near Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Edinburgh
The projects are backed by capital partners PGIM Real Estate through its European value-add debt platform and senior debt through Investec, and Edinburgh-based KR Developments partnered with CA Ventures to deliver the properties.
Each Novel community will include a range of shared amenity spaces and will typically offer breakfast bars with complimentary coffee service as well as study and meeting rooms, tea lounges and on-site wellness space such as gyms and relaxation rooms. Other features will include gaming rooms, karaoke lounges and abundant outdoor space with BBQ grills and pizza ovens.
Many common areas in the high-end communities will also feature high-end bells and whistles such as video door entry systems, dimmable lighting and integrated sound systems. The properties will host weekly social gatherings and career events for the benefit of students, and each Novel community will be staffed by an on-site property manager, leasing manager and team of community assistants.
CA plans more than $1.1 billion in total project starts through 2022 for its developments in Europe, which include the deliveries in the countries listed above as well as other projects through the continent. The firm will also provide third-party management services in partnership with other student housing investors.
Including those developments, as well as others throughout continental Europe, CA plans project starts totaling more than $1.1 billion through 2022. CA will also provide third-party management services, allowing other PBSA investors to benefit from Novel’s comprehensive operational platform.
CA hired Carlo Matta to head the company’s London-based European division in July 2018. The company is also expanding elsewhere in the globe. This past February, CA announced this that it will boost its Latin American footprint with a planned investment of $325 million in new, ground-up student housing developments in three Mexican cites.