LONDON, February 1, 2022 – Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC (“Greystar”), a global leader in rental housing, and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (“PSP Investments”), one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers, today announced that works have begun on a new purpose-built student accommodation (“PBSA”) asset near London Bridge Station.
The asset will operate under the premium Chapter London brand, which currently comprises 11 assets across the Capital including Spitalfields, Old Street, Highbury and South Bank. With groundworks underway, the main construction work is due to start in March 2022, with the opening scheduled for the 2025 academic year.
The 39 storey, 453 ft. (138-metre) tower will comprise 905 student beds and 15,000 sq. ft. of world-class amenity space. It has undergone a rigorous design process, led by world-renowned architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (“KPF”), in partnership with Greystar’s in-house global design team. The design is inspired by the local neighbourhood and will create a best-in-class building that will contribute to the ongoing regeneration of this popular area of the Capital.
State-of-the-art amenities and sustainability features
Chapter London focuses on the wellness of its residents with buildings offering a wealth of amenities and exceptional customer service to create the very best resident experience. Through an exclusive membership system, residents can use amenities—and attend events at any Chapter London building, creating a city-wide community.
Greystar and PSP Investments have appointed Mace as the main contractor for the construction of the building. Mace will adopt a data-driven approach to reduce its onsite carbon footprint, coupled with modern methods of construction to significantly minimise the scheme’s environmental footprint.
The energy efficient tower will offer professional management and state-of-the-art features, supporting environmental sustainability and social inclusion. It is designed to be 100% electric, with a 100% certified renewable energy supply and rooftop solar. It will also leverage modern methods of construction, minimising emissions from transport, concrete waste, and water usage on site. The project aims to achieve a BREEAM rating of “Excellent” and a five-star Global Real Estate Sustainability (“GRESB”) score.
Greystar has worked closely with the London Borough of Southwark to discharge all pre-commencement planning conditions, and demolition contractors Cantillon have commenced work onsite to demolish Capital House on 42 Weston Street to prepare the site for construction. Blackstone Mortgage Trust (NYSE: BXMT) provided construction financing for the project.
Will Krespi, Director – UK Development, Greystar, said: “Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, London remains an attractive destination for students thanks to the Capital’s impressive higher education institutions; but there is still an acute shortage of high-quality accommodation. At the same time, student accommodation is a highly resilient and counter-cyclical asset class which has meant that the best assets are extremely sought after. By adopting a develop-to-core approach, we can create new accommodation within a purpose-designed and sustainable asset in a highly desirable part of London. Chapter London Bridge will showcase the very best in architecture, amenities and services to create an environment where students can truly thrive.”
Stéphane Jalbert, Managing Director, Head of Asia-Pacific and Europe, Real Estate Investments, PSP Investments, said: “We are pleased to expand our Chapter brand with this new development at London Bridge. In addition to providing state-of-the-art amenities for students from around the world, this purpose-built student accommodation building will incorporate the best sustainability features and will promote activities generating a positive impact on the local communities.”
Shaun Tate, Business Unit Director, Mace Tech, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as Greystar’s construction partner, working together with Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates to deliver such an ambitious scheme. Delivered through an advanced modern methods of construction approach, we will maximise bespoke off-site solutions to drive faster, safer and greener delivery to a consistent factory quality.”
John Bushell, Design Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates: “We’re delighted to be working for Greystar, a forward-thinking client that’s willing to embrace innovation in the brief, design, and delivery of this flagship development in Southwark.
“Since the initial planning decision in May 2019, the design has progressed in collaboration with Mace, maintaining the original design intent. We have rethought the building’s systems for energy efficiency and are embracing modern methods of construction to improve operational and embodied carbon, reduce construction times and minimise disruption to neighbours. This very proactive collective effort has enabled the project to move forward to the delivery phase.”
Steve Plavin, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies, said: “We are excited to provide PSP and Greystar with the construction financing for this landmark asset. The fundamentals of the London student housing market are excellent, and the Chapter project will help fill the demand for high-quality, environmentally sustainable housing in Central London.”
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Greystar is a leading, fully integrated real estate company offering expertise in investment management, development, and management of rental housing properties globally. Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar manages and operates an estimated $220 billion of real estate in more than 210 markets globally including offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, South America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Greystar is the largest operator of apartments in the United States, manages more than 748,000 units/beds, and has a robust institutional investment management platform with approximately $45.1 billion of assets under management, including over $21.3 billion of assets under development. Greystar was founded by Bob Faith in 1993 with the intent to become a provider of world-class service in the rental residential real estate business. To learn more, visit www.greystar.com.
About PSP Investments
The Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) is one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers with C$204.5 billion of net assets under management as of March 31, 2021. It manages a diversified global portfolio composed of investments in public financial markets, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources and credit investments. Established in 1999, PSP Investments manages and invests amounts transferred to it by the Government of Canada for the pension plans of the federal Public Service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force. Headquartered in Ottawa, PSP Investments has its principal business office in Montréal and offices in New York, London and Hong Kong. For more information, visit investpsp.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Blackstone Mortgage Trust
Blackstone Mortgage Trust (NYSE:BXMT) is a real estate finance company that originates senior loans collateralized by commercial real estate in North America, Europe, and Australia. Our investment objective is to preserve and protect shareholder capital while producing attractive risk-adjusted returns primarily through dividends generated from current income from our loan portfolio. Our portfolio is composed primarily of loans secured by high-quality, institutional assets in major markets, sponsored by experienced, well-capitalized real estate investment owners and operators. We are externally managed by BXMT Advisors L.L.C., a subsidiary of Blackstone. Further information is available at www.bxmt.com.
Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $731 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.
About Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is one of the world’s preeminent architecture firms, providing architecture, interior, programming and master planning services for clients that include some of the most forward-thinking developers, corporations, entrepreneurs, and institutions in the United States and around the world. The firm’s extensive portfolio spans more than 40 countries and includes a wide range of projects from office and residential buildings to civic and cultural spaces to educational facilities. Driven by individual design solutions, rather than a predetermined style, KPF’s mission is to create buildings and places of the utmost quality and contextual sensitivity, providing a valuable impact on the cities they inhabit.
As a global practice with a far-reaching impact, KPF endeavours to design lasting architectural solutions that mitigate their lifecycle impact on environmental resources and that protect and enhance the well-being of the communities they serve. For that reason, the firm has joined AIA, RIBA, and many of its peers in a joint effort to develop the capabilities to design and deliver carbon-neutral buildings by 2030. www.kpf.com
Mace is a global company of experts in shaping and making the built environment. It provides development, consulting, construction and operations services for many of the world’s most inspiring building and infrastructure projects and programmes – from Olympic parks and iconic skyscrapers to state-of-the-art data centres, schools, hospitals and homes.
The privately-owned company, headquartered in London, UK, has an annual turnover of £1.8 billion. Over 30 years, its growth has been fuelled by an adventurous spirit and the relentless pursuit of a better way. Today, the company employs over 6,000 people across five global hubs in Europe, Middle East and North Africa, the Americas, Sub Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific.
Mace is driven by its purpose to redefine the boundaries of ambition, and its vision of leading the way to a more connected, resilient and sustainable world. Find out more at www.macegroup.com