One Medlock Street CGI Whitbread and Dominvs p consultation

The Medlock Street project is due to complete in 2028. Credit: via planning documents

Student Roost acquires 1,000-bed Manchester PBSA

Whitbread has sold a plot off Medlock Street earmarked for a 37-storey tower to the Greystar-owned operator for its first development in the city.

Student Roost, which was acquired by investor Greystar along with its portfolio in 2022, has bought the former Premier Inn site, which is earmarked for one of the largest proposed student accommodation schemes in Manchester.

Whitbread, working with developer Dominus secured planning consent for a 1,014-bed PBSA scheme – with an accompanying 392,800 sq ft 13-storey office – last year. Student Roost’s acquisition does not include the office element.

Mark Anderson, managing director for property and international at Whitbread, explained the rationale behind the disposal.

“Whitbread has a clear growth plan for Premier Inn in the UK and as we continue to expand, we have an opportunity to think creatively about our estate and how our locations are matching the needs of our guests.

“In select locations, such as central Manchester where we have an extensive network, greater value for our shareholders can be achieved by disposing of a Whitbread-owned hotel for redevelopment into alternative uses, rather than continuing to trade the location as a Premier Inn.”

Designed by Jon Matthews Architects, the PBSA element of the Medlock Street scheme would feature 13,000 sq ft of resident amenities including a gym, yoga studio, quiet study areas, meeting spaces, screening rooms, shared lounges, and games rooms.

Residents will also have access to two roof terraces on the 11th and 37th floors with views across Manchester.

The scheme is expected to be operational in 2028.

As well as snapping up its first Manchester scheme, Student Roost has also acquired The Triangle in Selly Oak, Birmingham from Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital.

That scheme will see the redevelopment of a former Sainsbury’s supermarket site into a six-storey building with 836 student beds.

Ashling Fox, managing director at Student Roost, said: “The acquisition of premises in Manchester and Birmingham marks a significant milestone in Student Roost’s history.

“Our focus on resident wellbeing and providing over 22,000 students with more than a room will lead these developments, enabling us to provide safe spaces and remarkable experiences for students in Manchester and Birmingham.”

Following the double swoop, Ben Mowbray, managing director of UK Investment at Greystar, said Greystar is seeking to further capitalise on the UK’s “chronic undersupply” of good quality student accommodation.

“We are actively looking for acquisition and development opportunities to expand the Student Roost platform in the UK,” he said.

“The acquisitions in Manchester and Birmingham present an opportunity to build two new assets from the ground up and implement our refreshed design guide for Student Roost to help us create the very best buildings for students.”

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