Developer acquires Glasgow site for new student housing block

Glasgow-VitaWork will start this month on hundreds of student flats at a £67 million development in Glasgow’s West End after a property investment firm bought the site.

Select Property Group acquired a 2.9 acre site near the University of Glasgow for a 441 student apartment development.

The site on Beith Street is close to the university’s new global entrance and Partick Subway Station.

The value of the land acquisition from Glasgow-based investment firm Structured House, which includes outline planning and development rights in agreement with Glasgow Harbour, has not been disclosed.

Select said the 2.9 acre site has a gross development value of £67m.

It plans to develop 441 self-contained studio apartments on the site, incorporating 501 beds.

The site will be developed, let and managed under the group’s student accommodation arm Vita Student, which managed six existing sites across England.

Work is scheduled to begin on the site later this month, with phase one work expected to be complete by August 2016 and phase two development by December 2016.

Mark Stott, chief executive of Select Property Group, said the site purchase was a major milestone for the business.

He added: “Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and houses six universities which attract an international market of more than 80,000 students as one of Europe’s most popular places to study.

“The redevelopment of the city’s West End presents an outstanding opportunity for us to deliver a legacy of unique and inspirational living environments for the students of Glasgow.

“With year-on-year rental rates rising by 1.6 per cent in April, our new Vita Student development presents a compelling proposition for students and investors alike.”

City council planners gave the scheme the go-ahead after hearing there is a massive shortage of accommodation for young people at city universities.

Because of the recent number of applications for student flats in the West End, councillors demanded a study be carried out.

It found there is a total of 50,880 full-time students and 14,195 part-time students attending Glasgow, Strathclyde and Caledonian universities, Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The five main higher education institutions in the city offer accommodation for 6219 students - often only to first-year students - which is only 10 per cent of the total student population in the city.

The private sector offers accommodation for 4678 students which is around 7 per cent of the student population.

In recent months, 15 student accommodation developments have received planning permission and are under construction or yet to be started. These will provide a further 2714 student beds.

A report from Richard Brown, the council’s executive director of development and regeneration, said: “When combined, these factors offer accommodation for 13,611 students which is 21 per cent of all students, meaning 51,645 students are residing at home with parents, in HMO’s or other private rented accommodation.”

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