Northern Ireland

Belfast student housing scheme bought by new developer

Little Patrick Street mock up design Image copyright Lacuna/ Watkin Jones
Image caption The site received planning permission in October 2016.

A planned student housing scheme in Belfast has been sold to a new developer.

The site at Little Patrick Street received planning permission in October 2016, following an application by UniCiti LLP.

It has now been sold to Lacuna Developments and the Watkin Jones Group.

The joint venture partners have developed other student schemes in the city.

The Little Patrick Street project currently has permission for 354 student studios in an 11-storey building.

Sold to investors

A revised planning application proposes to reconfigure the scheme and increase the number of beds from 354 to 430.

Watkin Jones and Lacuna have also secured an institutional investor to "forward fund" the scheme.

That means the investor pays now and gets control of the building on completion.

Watkin Jones/ Lacuna developed Belfast's first major purpose-built student scheme at John Bell House in the city centre.

They are currently working on two other schemes at the Athletic Stores building and on the Dublin Road.

They have forward sold all their schemes to institutional investors, including a fund managed by the Swiss bank UBS.

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