Crosslane Student Developments, part of the Crosslane Property Group, alongside joint venture partner Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, have celebrated the opening of its Sycamore House student accommodation development in Leeds.
The ceremony was conducted by Robert Goulsbra, senior development manager at Crosslane; David Lawrence, development director at Harrison Street and Gary Walton, managing director at Torsion Group, the main contractor on the project, and attended by the team of professional partners working on the development, along with other members of the Crosslane team, in addition to representatives from both Leeds Universities.
The new development was opened on time and on budget, following a 12-month construction timetable that began in September 2017. Prime Student Living, the student accommodation lettings and operational management arm of Crosslane, has successfully ensured that the property is fully let for the 2018/19 academic year, reflecting the strong demand for high specification student accommodation in the city.
The development is the first of four new purpose-built student accommodation schemes to be opened within Crosslane’s joint venture with Harrison Street. In addition to Leeds, the joint venture also includes new developments in Coventry, Portsmouth and Swansea, which will all be completed in time for the 2019/20 academic year, delivering a combined total of 1,294 beds, with an expected gross development value of £125m.
Sycamore House comprises 117 premium en-suite studio apartments, ranging from 20sqm to 38sqm arranged over five storeys. The exterior has been designed to complement the neighbouring Georgian style properties within the conservation area of Woodhouse Square, with bedrooms surrounding a central, landscaped, private courtyard.
Internally, the boutique design and high specification of the scheme includes shared communal facilities and amenity spaces to encourage students to work collaboratively and make new friends as part of their university experience, such as a common room, study areas, gym and a high-quality kitchen/dining/entertaining room as well as a large private external courtyard for the residents to enjoy. Students will also benefit from superfast 100 Mbps broadband and Wi-Fi and cycle storage.
The property is located to the north west of Leeds city centre, in a residential area on the corner of Woodhouse Square and Claremont Avenue, and directly opposite Woodhouse Square Park. The University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds city centre are all within half a mile of the property and therefore only a short walk away.
Leeds has a full-time student population of over 51,000 enrolled at its four Higher Educational Institutions, making it one of the largest student cities in Britain. For Sycamore House, Crosslane has seen particular interest from international postgraduate students studying at both University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett, reflecting the demand for well-located, premium purpose-built student accommodation in the city.
Robert Goulsbra, senior development manager, Crosslane Student Developments, said: “We are delighted to open Sycamore House, our first student accommodation development in the city, and second in Yorkshire following the opening of Brass Founders in Sheffield last year. Leeds is a vibrant student city, where demand for high-quality purpose-built student accommodation continues to outstrip supply, due to its growing student population.
This is also a landmark development for Crosslane, being the first property completed with our joint venture partner Harrison Street, which will deliver a combined total of 1,294 beds over four cities by the start of the 2019/20 academic year.”
Daniel Gorzawski, a managing director and the head of Europe at Harrison Street, said: “We are very pleased to see the first development opening at Sycamore House, Leeds, as part of our joint venture with Crosslane, which marks the start of an exciting long-term relationship. Our £125 million portfolio has been carefully selected to include high-quality purpose-built student accommodation in the key university cities of Leeds, Coventry, Portsmouth and Swansea and we look forward seeing all four assets fully let and operational.”
Gary Walton, managing director, Torsion Group, said: “We are delighted to have worked on our fourth successful student housing development project with Crosslane, following two previous schemes in Newcastle and one in Birmingham, all of which were delivered on time and within budget.
“The 12-month construction timetable, adverse winter weather and conservation site at Woodhouse Square posed several logistical challenges for us, and we are pleased to have worked with Crosslane to ensure the scheme was completed ahead of the 2018/19 academic year.”