Empiric Student Property buys in Lancaster

Student accommodation investor Empiric has bought a portfolio of five student residential blocks, including three properties in Lancaster, from CityBlock for £26.5m.

CityBlock will continue to manage the operation of the properties on behalf of Empiric.

The Lancaster portfolio is made up of three buildings, CityBlock 1, 2 and 3, in Penny Street.

CityBlock 1 provides 30 bedrooms with en-suites and shared kitchen and communal areas. There is also a ground floor retail unit.

CityBlock 2 delivers 77 beds ,with 52 en-suite bedrooms and 25 studios. There are also two retail units that are let to Cartridge World and Subway on the ground floor level.

CityBlock 3 provides a total of 100 beds comprising 57 en-suite bedrooms, 10 studios and 33 en-suite beds in five townhouses. There is a retail unit let to Sainsbury on the ground floor.

As part of the portfolio, Empiric also acquired two connected buildings in Leicester.

In January CityBlock agreed £16.2m of finance with the Royal Bank of Scotland to support continued business development across the country.

Paul Hadaway, chief executive of Empiric Student Property, said: “We are very pleased to have acquired this portfolio of five properties in Lancaster and Leicester, creating a very well located, attractive and highly specified portfolio in two new top university cities for the group. The tenant mix at the properties, which have an excellent occupancy track record, reflects the group’s target market of international and post-graduate students.  The acquisition of this portfolio represents an efficient deployment of equity capital in one transaction. The acquisition is in line with Empiric’s investment criteria and returns profile.”

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