Downing LLP and Pollen Street Capital announce £24m deal for student accommodation development

Property & Construction | South East


Investment managers Downing LLP and Pollen Street Capital have announced a £24.3m co-funded deal, following the recently launched real estate funding partnership between the two businesses.

The funding will go towards the construction of two purpose-built student apartment blocks in Canterbury, which will provide accommodation and facilities for just under 400 students.

In December 2020, Downing LLP and Pollen Street Capital first unveiled their new real estate funding partnership, which aims to co-fund development finance and bridging deals for high-quality SME developers. Downing LLP currently has £470m of AUM in property-backed deals made by its experienced Development Capital and Property Finance teams. Pollen Street Capital, a private equity and credit focused manager, has invested over £1.1 billion in senior real estate debt during the past four years through its partnership model with property lenders.

Parik Chandra, Partner and Head of Property Finance at Downing LLP, explains why this type of student accommodation will remain in demand in the future, despite the impact of Covid and Brexit: “The market for student accommodation is experiencing some challenges due to Covid and Brexit may also impact EU students studying in the UK. Nevertheless, the underlying dynamics of the UK student market remain strong.

“The undersupply of purpose-built student accommodation in cities across the UK is an ongoing issue which we aim to play our part in tackling by providing debt funding for projects of this kind. This deal is an excellent example as it involves an experienced developer committed to ensuring a high-quality build. We look forward to supporting the developer and would also like to thank Stan Lersch of Property Finance Services for introducing the deal.”

Howard Garland, Partner, Pollen Street Capital commented: “We would like to thank Parik and the team for all of their hard work in originating and closing this deal. We are pleased to have supported another development through our co-funding partnership with Downing and look forward to continuing to build this relationship. It is excellent to start to see the positive impact of our partnership in improving access to finance for SME developers around the UK.”

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