Watkin Jones, the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent, is pleased to announce that the Group has recently topped out on an 819-bed purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme, Metalworks in Dalby Avenue, located in Bedminster, Bristol.
This commemorative event signals that the concrete framework is now complete and was a proud moment for everyone involved, including KKR, subcontractors and local councillors. The topping out was marked by laying the last remaining concrete at the top of the highest building.
Forward funded by KKR through its European Core Plus Real Estate strategy, the two building 819-bed development will be leased on a long-term nominations agreement with The University of Bristol. Upon completion next Summer, in time for the 2024 academic year, the development will offer 82 five-to-twelve bed cluster flats.
The scheme will have c.15,000 sq.ft. of internal and external amenity space and will include a private terrace, courtyard, and gardens. Metalworks is conveniently located near Bedminster station providing excellent transport to university campuses and is within walking distance to Bristol’s city centre and Bristol Temple Mead train station.
Bristol continues to be a leading destination for students in higher education with two established universities. Accommodation in the UK’s eighth largest city continues to be stretched across both the BTR and PBSA markets. Creating this major PBSA development in Bedminster is important in helping the city address the on-going and increasing demand for student accommodation. Metalworks is located in one of the five key sites identified in Bristol City Council’s Bedminster Green Framework as a priority for redevelopment.
Bristol is one of the UK’s greenest cities and the scheme is sustainably designed, targeting a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating. District Heating has been incorporated into the design, connecting to Bristol’s heating network system, and offering a supply of low carbon across the scheme. Biodiverse green roofs will support micro-climate habitats for invertebrates, in turn providing foraging resources for birds and bats, while photovoltaic panels will generate renewable electricity on site.
The scheme, which is targeting a WiredScore Silver rating, will provide best-in-class delivery and execution for residents through its technology-enabled experience. Attractive landscaping will support and encourage local biodiversity and residents will enjoy outdoor communal amenity space including a courtyard and access to the newly restored Malago River corridor.
George Dyer, Group Investment Director, Watkin Jones, said: “We have worked closely with both the University of Bristol and the team at KKR on the Metalworks development, which represents an exemplary PBSA scheme. The topping out of this scheme demonstrates Watkin Jones’ track record in delivering top quality PBSA accommodation which will offer University of Bristol students sustainable accommodation to live in, alongside high-quality amenity space. As a thriving and vibrant city, Bristol continues to be a highly desirable location to live and study in, and we believe this great scheme will help alleviate some of the housing shortage for students.”
Seb d’Avanzo, Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Acquisitions for KKR in Europe, commented: “It’s great to see Watkin Jones hitting this milestone in an important venture that will develop exceptional student accommodation in one of the UK’s top university cities. Watkin Jones is again proving to be a great delivery partner for KKR, and we’re delighted to see their innovative and sustainability-led designs for Metalworks start to become a reality.”
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Buchanan (Watkin Jones)
Henry Harrison-Topham / Jamie Hooper
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
FGS Global (KKR)
Alastair Elwen / Sophia Johnston
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7251 3801
Notes to Editors
Watkin Jones is the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent, with a focus on the build to rent, student accommodation and affordable housing sectors. The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high-quality developments. Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered 48,000 student beds across 143 sites, making it a key player and leader in the UK purpose-built student accommodation market, and is increasingly expanding its operations into the build to rent sector. In addition, Fresh, the Group's specialist accommodation management business, manages over 22,000 student beds and build to rent apartments on behalf of its institutional clients. Watkin Jones has also been responsible for over 80 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments.
The Group's competitive advantage lies in its experienced management team and capital-light business model, which enables it to offer an end-to-end solution for investors, delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset.
Watkin Jones was admitted to trading on AIM in March 2016 with the ticker WJG.L. For additional information please visit www.watkinjonesplc.com
KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life, and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.