Harrison Street Real Estate and Uliving form JV and reach financial close on Birmingham student accommodation scheme

26 January 2018

Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, one of the largest owners of student housing in the US and Europe, and Uliving, the student accommodation developer and operator, have signed a partnership agreement to invest in purpose-built student accommodation properties in the UK and have finalised agreements on their first project, a new £40 million (GDV) student accommodation development in Birmingham’s city centre. The development will be Uliving’s first off-campus, direct-let project.

UBS Asset Management is providing senior debt funding through its real estate debt fund, the UBS Participating Real Estate Mortgage Fund (UBS-PREMF), while Harrison Street is the majority equity investor. Uliving, the dedicated student accommodation brand of property development company Linkcity, is also providing equity and is the developer and operator. Uliving’s partners Bouygues Energies & Services and Bouygues UK will provide facilities management and construction services.

This high-quality student accommodation development will be built on the site of Bath Court on Bath Row, ideally located for students studying at University College Birmingham, Birmingham City University and University of Birmingham campuses. It will include 435 new student bedrooms and extensive facilities including a large, street-facing gym; an open-plan common room area with seating, games and television screens; two study rooms; a launderette; a dance studio; and a landscaped roof terrace.

Construction will begin in April 2018, with the first students set to move in for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Daniel Gorzawski, Managing Director and Head of Europe at Harrison Street, said:
“Partnering with best-in-class operators to invest in high-quality student accommodation projects is a key element of our strategy. This is a first-rate scheme in an excellent location and we look forward to a successful, long-term relationship with Uliving and UBS.”

Uliving’s Executive Chairman, Nicolas Guérin, said:
“Having partnered with universities to create exceptional student accommodation schemes in Essex, Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire, it is exciting to have reached financial close on this project, which signals the start of our joint venture with Harrison Street and sees us developing our first off-campus, direct-let scheme. With its five universities and over 65,000 higher education students, Birmingham – Britain’s second largest city by population – is an increasingly attractive destination and the ideal location for this evolution in our product offering.”

Fabienne Viala, UK Country Director for Bouygues Construction and Chairman of Bouygues UK, said:
“Reaching financial close on this significant scheme highlights our collaborative approach: as well as marking the beginning of a new relationship for Uliving with Harrison Street, it also brings together the diverse capabilities of Bouygues Construction in the UK, with Uliving,
Bouygues UK and Bouygues Energies & Services all working together to bring this project to fruition and manage it over the long term.”

Anthony Shayle, Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Debt EMEA of UBS Asset Management, said:
“We are delighted to support this development opportunity with Uliving and Harrison Street Capital that establishes a long-term co-operation between our fund and two organisations with strong track records in creating developments improving the student experience. This loan reflects our continuing strategy in the UK, and potentially Europe, of supporting a broad cross section of the real estate market with innovative debt structures.”

Eastdil Secured acted as financial adviser and Trowers & Hamlins was legal adviser to the Joint Venture.

DLA Piper was legal adviser to Harrison Street Real Estate Capital and CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang was legal adviser to UBS Asset Management.


Media enquiries to:

Henry Columbine
Redleaf Communications
07917 839251


Notes to Editors:

About Uliving

Uliving is a company that has been founded with a simple mission: to be the creator of the most in-demand student accommodation, by providing the most relevant facilities at the most appropriate price. Ideally suited for delivering this ambition, Uliving’s foundations are strong, bringing together the wealth of expertise in its family of companies each with a track record of successfully delivering the key aspects of our mission. With successful on-campus ventures at the Universities of Essex, Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire – and our move into off-campus accommodation – Uliving is a growing business, but one with a continued focus on the student experience. We aren’t afraid to look at different ways of doing things when it comes to delivering for our customers and clients, summarised in a single promise: ‘Built Around You’.

Uliving is the dedicated student accommodation brand of property development company Linkcity, and is part of the global Bouygues group.

More information is available at

About Harrison Street Real Estate

Harrison Street Real Estate Capital LLC is one of the leading real estate investment management firms exclusively focused on the education, healthcare and storage sectors. The firm has created a series of differentiated investment products across multiple risk/return strategies. Headquartered in Chicago with an office in London, the firm has 115 employees and has approximately $12.8 billion in assets under management.

Harrison Street is the largest private owner of student accommodation in the USA and has invested in over 125,000 student housing beds since the firm’s inception. The firm’s student housing investments exclusively total $7.2 billion since inception which includes over €0.5 billion invested in the UK, Ireland, Germany and France over the past 24 months.

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About UBS

UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. The operational structure of the Group is comprised of our Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth Management Americas, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and the Investment Bank. UBS’s strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates, in order to generate attractive and sustainable returns for its shareholders. All of its businesses are capital-efficient and benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets.