Crosslane Student Developments Agrees sale of Brass Founders, Sheffield, to Unite Students Accommodation Fund (USAF) for £35.5m


Crosslane Student Developments, part of the Crosslane Group (“Crosslane”), today announces that it has successfully sold its 437-bed student accommodation property, Brass Founders, Sheffield to Unite Students Accommodation Fund (“USAF”) for a total purchase price of £35.5m.

Prime Student Living, the student accommodation lettings and operational management arm of the Crosslane Group, has successfully ensured that the new development is fully let for the 2017/18 academic year.

The property comprises three residential blocks of six, seven and eight storeys, laid out in a U-shape to form a large, private landscaped courtyard within which residents can study, collaborate and socialise. High specification materials have been selected to create a brick and glass façade with solar panels on the roof and outbuildings that have a green “living” roof.

Of the 437 beds, 144 are high specification self-contained studio apartments and 293 are premium en-suite bedrooms arranged in cluster flats of up to six bedrooms, sharing a lounge, kitchen and dining area. The property has substantial shared communal facilities on the ground floor, which has been zoned into different areas including a games zone, onsite gym, cinema/multi-media room, study zone and meeting hubs, and lounge and snug for socialising and relaxation. There is a washer/dryer in every kitchen and superfast 250MB broadband and Wi-Fi throughout the building. Separately, there is a luxury kitchen and 24-seater dining area for entertaining. Bike storage facilities are provided to encourage students to cycle.

Over 60,000 students study at Sheffield’s two higher education institutions, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. The property is situated on Scotland Street to the north of the city centre and is within five minutes’ walk of the University of Sheffield International College building and within 15 minutes’ walk of both university main campus buildings. The city centre and all its amenities are within 10 minutes’ walk.

Crosslane Student Developments exchanged contracts on the site in March 2015, obtained planning consent in October of that year and held a successful opening ceremony on 13 September 2017, conducted by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Anne Murphy.

Walker Morris acted for Crosslane and Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP acted for USAF.

Commenting, Andy Whatson, Director, Crosslane Student Developments, said:

“Crosslane is pleased to have completed the sale of Brass Founders in Sheffield, successfully generating returns to its investors by increasing the property’s asset value since exchanging contracts on the site in March 2015, obtaining planning consent in October of that year and completing construction on time and within budget ahead of the start of the 2017/18 academic year.

Brass Founders is a high-quality, landmark development for Crosslane incorporating a culmination of insight from extensive student research, in conjunction with the knowhow and experience gained from the previous ten developments, completed over the last six years. A resident survey concludes students are very impressed with their new accommodation and achieving full occupancy is a reflection of their desire to live in a Crosslane designed and developed property.

Crosslane remains active in strengthening its identified pipeline of potential investment opportunities to further grow our successful student accommodation business in key university cities and towns in the UK and across Europe.”

Richard Simpson, Group Property Director at Unite Students said:

“This acquisition demonstrates our strategy of building and acquiring quality student property close to high-ranking universities, where student numbers are growing. We have strong existing relationships with universities in Sheffield and we are confident that Brass Founders will provide students with a quality, affordable home in a great location.”