HSRE Brings Student Housing to Dublin

A joint venture between Harrison Street Real Estate Capital and GSA Investment Management will invest $285 million in a much-needed student housing project in Dublin, Ireland.
Mill Street2

A rendering of the Mill Street development

Chicago—Private real estate equity firm Harrison Street Real Estate Capital (HSRE) and GSA Investment Management group agreed to invest $285 million in a student housing project over the next five years in Dublin, Ireland. The joint venture will provide much needed student housing stock with high-quality new accommodation choices for students in the capital.

The new joint venture also announced its first development, Mill Street, Dublin 8, which recently achieved planning permission. The property will provide a mix of bedrooms for 400 students as well as shops, a restaurant and office space to be occupied by local businesses. Mill Street is centrally located to primarily serve students of Trinity College Dublin and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, both of which are within walking distance of the development.

GSA’s Dublin-based team will develop and operate the project while its Investment Management business, newly created to facilitate institutional investors’ growing interest in student accommodation assets, will be responsible for managing the JV.

HSRE has noted experience with student housing, investing in more than 60,000 student accommodation beds in the United States, representing more than $4.4 billion in gross cost.

“Dublin offers a unique opportunity to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for investors similar to those experienced over the past decade in the U.S.,” said Christopher Merrill, co-founder, president & CEO of HSRE. “We are excited to be working with GSA Group to bring our combined expertise in student accommodation investment and development to Dublin.”

GSA Group Executive Chairman Nicholas Porter added that GSA has a great track record of attracting global institutional capital for student housing and notes how important student housing is in today’s world. “Students have the desire and ability to travel much further afield to study. This further increases the importance of where and how they will be living,” he said. “We are very proud of the plans for our first development in Dublin, Mill Street, which has been designed especially to meet the needs of today’s hyper-connected, hard working university students with all the spaces needed to forge a real sense of community within the accommodation. This is the first scheme of a substantial portfolio in Dublin which will bring forward much needed student accommodation stock in the city and other global hot spots.”

In June 2015, HSRE raised $150.9 million for its European property fund, targeting the acquisition and development of student housing properties in Europe.

Images courtesy of Sard Verbinnen & Co.