Singapore Property Giant Invests in York and Work Starts on Major New Development

Work has started to build a much-needed 303-bedroom student scheme in York after a forward funding deal was agreed with Singapore based Q Investment Partners (QIP).

The mix of 195 cluster apartments and 108 studios will be spread across a three to five storey development on James Street in York.

Planning permission was secured for the scheme by S Harrison last year, and the respected York based development firm is working with QIP and a wider development team to deliver the project in time for the 2025 student intake year. The development will then be operated by the Prestige Student Living brand of Homes for Students.

GMI Construction Group has been appointed as contractor, and it is expected that the development will complete in the Spring of 2025.

Peter Young, CEO and co-founder of QIP believes that purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) is increasingly attractive to institutional investors. He said: “James Street is one of the student schemes that is part of a £200m build-to-core UK student housing venture between QIP and property investment group, Soilbuild. This expansion complements our existing stabilised portfolio, in partnership with Ares, that encompasses c.1,000 bedrooms across the UK’s leading student cities. This latest partnership reaffirms our unwavering commitment to the sector and allows QIP to leverage our existing platform scale to meet the rising demand for high-quality student accommodation in the UK.”

Martyn Harrison, from S Harrison, said: “We have been headquartered in York for over 70 years and have successfully designed and delivered many successful PBSA schemes in York, Leeds and Edinburgh in recent years, totalling thousands of bedrooms. Our ability to create exceptional developments in highly sought after locations means we have strong relationships with many leading PBSA and institutional investors, both in the UK and globally, and we’re very pleased to agree our first deal with QIP.

“High quality PBSA is in real demand in York, especially for schemes like this one, which is so close to both the University of York and York St John University. When this is combined with our local knowledge and QIP’s experience in the sector, there’s no doubt this development will prove to be very popular with the city’s student population.”

With an A-shaped footprint, the development has been designed by York based CSP Architects and includes a large external central communal area, and also offers study space, a games room, cinema, gym and laundry facilities. The site’s central location means it will mostly be car-free and a large cycle store forms part of the scheme. With plenty of soft landscaping and a South facing public pocket park on the site’s southeast corner and morebthan 200 sq. m of green space, the Lawrence Street streetscape, which is a primary route into the city, will also be greatly improved.

Yorkshire’s divisional managing director at GMI Construction, Andrew Hurcomb, said: “GMI has a strong track record of delivering student accommodation across the North of England and the Midlands.  The James Street development is in an ideal location given its within walking distance of two universities and will help York confirm its position as a top study destination by expanding the range of quality facilities available for students.”

Martyn concluded: “This scheme ticks so many boxes as it’s creating new, energy-efficient homes for students in an easily accessible location, as well as benefiting the local community with improvements to both pedestrian and cycle infrastructure, as well as a new community park for all.”

QIP is a private equity real estate firm that specialises in the global residential living sector. The company invests in the UK, US and Japan, by investing in PBSA, multi-family and co-living rental buildings, build-to-rent and care homes.

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