Olympian Homes & Housing Growth Partnership announce Joint Venture to deliver £120 million, 790-bed PBSA scheme

Olympian Homes, the established commercial and residential developer, and Housing Growth Partnership (HGP) have formed an equity Joint Venture (JV) to deliver a 790-bed Purpose Built Student Accommodation Scheme (“PBSA”) in Nottingham city centre. The scheme, which will also include 19 affordable homes, has a Gross Development Value of c. £120 million.

Known as ‘Forest Mill’, the PBSA scheme will comprise 790 beds across three buildings. Features will include a Café & Co-Working Space, games area with table tennis, air hockey, fussball, shuffleboard, private dining, gym, yoga studio, cinema room, gaming booth and a garden terrace. Located on Alfreton Road, the site is just a 13-minute walk from the Nottingham Trent University campus, a 12-minute bus ride from the University of Nottingham Jubilee Campus and a 16-minute walk from the city centre.

The site adjacent to the PBSA blocks will see the delivery of 19 high quality affordable homes. The three-bedroom family homes will contribute to the Council’s housing delivery targets and crucially provide accommodation for residents on low incomes.

Having acquired the site in September 2021, Olympian secured planning in June 2022. RG Construction has been awarded the build contract for the PBSA element and Tanbry Construction the affordable housing element. Enabling works began in July 2023 and main construction will start in December 2023, with completion scheduled ahead of the 2025/26 academic year.

James Lindridge, Development Director at Olympian Homes, commented: “We are thankful for the pragmatic nature of Nottingham City Council in supporting our vision and addressing the supply/demand imbalance of PBSA and affordable homes within Nottingham. We look forward to commencing works onsite, engaging with local stakeholders and contributing to Nottingham’s ambitious growth plans. The transaction is our second Olympian PBSA funding completion of 2023 and demonstrates the high level of investor confidence in the UK PBSA sector despite the turbulent macro-economic backdrop. We have enjoyed working with HGP and believe this will be the start of a strong, long-term partnership.”

Mark Slatter, Chairman of Olympian Homes, commented: “This is a great place making opportunity for a landmark high quality Student Accommodation scheme alongside much needed Affordable Homes and many thanks to all our stakeholders for making this happen in very challenging times.”

Colin Bennett, Investment Director, HGP, added: “Forest Mill is a bold, high specification scheme, with strong amenity that will bring economic growth to the area and create further regeneration opportunities in the city; whilst also supporting the provision of much needed affordable homes. We have built a strong partnership with the Olympian team and look forward to working with them in delivering this scheme and future opportunities.

“Forest Mill is landmark transaction for HGP, representing our third, and largest, equity investment in the PBSA sector to date. Having recently supported new developments in Glasgow and Dundee, we have strong appetite to grow our exposure in the sector, supporting the delivery of high quality schemes in critically undersupplied UK university cities.”

Laurie Marsh, Senior Director at JLL Living Capital Markets, which advised on the both the JV debt and equity financing structuring, commented: “We are delighted to have supported the Olympian team on capital raising for another significant PBSA transaction this year. Advising across the capital stack allowed us to think creatively in sourcing best in class partners to help bring Forest Mill forward. The JV creation further evidences the attractiveness of the Living sector for investors and the positive momentum we are seeing building into 2024.”

Olympian Homes was advised by JLL Living Capital Markets and Freeths and HGP was advised by Shoosmiths.