Ropemaker Properties acquire prime colchester student accomodation asset from Osborne Developments for £15.9m

Osborne Developments have sold their operational ‘townhouse’ student accommodation development, Elmstead Place Colchester, to Ropemaker Properties Ltd (RPL)for £15.9m following strong interest and competitive bidding.

The 138-bedroom development was completed in 2020 and occupies an attractive 1.85 acre site adjacent to the University of Essex’s Wivenhoe Park campus.   The scheme provides students with an alternative to conventional cluster flat accommodation or traditional HMO street properties with the accommodation arranged primarily within 15 self-contained townhouses but still with onsite amenities and high-quality 24/7 management.

The University of Essex is a growing institution, with 20/21 full-time student numbers increasing by 10% on the previous year (19/20).  Elmstead Place was fully let for the 21/22 academic year and continues to outperform letting expectations.

Osborne Developments, who focus on the Educational and Residential sectors, acquired the land and secured planning consent for the scheme before building out using their in-house construction division.  Osborne also retained direct management of the development during the period of their ownership.  Osborne Developments are reviewing more sites to deliver the townhouse model where they will also utilise the groups off-site manufacturing capabilities to build the houses off-site.

David Podesta, Head of Development Management & Operations for Osborne Developments said:

The interest generated by the sale of Elmstead Place re-enforces the value of our developer/contractor model and our strategy of stabilising our PBSA assets prior to exit.  This is a great asset and we are delighted to have concluded a sale to Ropemaker Properties

Paul Hillier, Portfolio Manager for RPL said:

We’re delighted to have purchased this exceptionally well designed and well located asset in a university with strong growth aspirations”

Avison Young and Longstreet Consulting acted for Osborne and RPL were represented by Savills.