(MILAN) – Hines, the international real estate firm, has made its first entry into the Italian student housing market, with the acquisition of a site near Bocconi University in Milan, to develop a 600-bed accommodation facility.
The investment is part of a joint venture between Hines and Blue Noble, an independent real estate investment management company, and will be Hines’ first in a series of investments in student housing in the main Italian university cities, with Rome, Florence and Venice targeted alongside Milan.
The anticipated development aims to provide 600 student beds with modern spaces and services, including common areas, study rooms, library, cinema and gym.
The asset will be managed directly by Hines through Aparto, the company’s dedicated student accommodation operating platform, which currently operates 1,400 student beds in the UK and Ireland, with an additional pipeline of 3,600 beds across Europe.
Located a five-minute walk from Bocconi, at the corner of Via Giovenale and Via Col Moschin, the plan will also offer “micro-living” units: micro apartments and rooms targeting young professionals in need of short-term accommodation.
Completion of the acquisition is due to occur in May 2018, with the development scheduled to begin in 2018 and anticipated to be completed by the end of 2020.
Lars Huber, CEO of Hines Europe, said, “We are very committed to the student housing sector, and look forward to expanding our growing portfolio in many markets across Europe. Italy represents a key market and we expect this acquisition with Blue Noble to mark the first of a series of investments in core cities across the country with growing and dynamic student populations.”
Mario Abbadessa, Italy country head for Hines, added, “We are extremely pleased with this investment, which confirms Hines’ focus on Italy and, specifically, the student housing sector. We see a wide gap between supply and demand in Italy, in terms of available accommodation and particularly in terms of its quality, sustainability and flexibility. Our goal is to provide innovative solutions to the different needs of students, foreigners and young professionals. Over the next two years, we aim to invest €500 million in the main Italian university cities.”
Paul Forshaw, CEO of Blue Noble, said, “Our investment into this site and proposed development presents an exciting opportunity for us to contribute towards redressing the apparent imbalance in the supply and demand of student accommodation in Milan. We remain focused on gaining access to interesting investment opportunities in the UK and Europe on behalf of our investors and this venture alongside Hines, with whom we have strong and established historical connections, is a compelling case.”
Carmody Groarke will design the scheme in collaboration with Calzoni Architetti. Legal support for the acquisition was provided by Belvedere Inzaghi & Partners and Grimaldi Lex.
About Blue Noble
Blue Noble LLP (‘Blue Noble’ is an independent, full service real estate investment management company, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’), Firm Reference Number 789552. Based in London, Blue Noble acquires and manages physical property investments on behalf of high net worth individuals, family offices and institutional investors targeting real estate assets across the risk spectrum. Direct investments are acquired via club deals, segregated accounts and Blue Noble managed funds. Blue Noble was founded in 2017 by four experienced real estate professionals who, during their tenure at one of the world’s largest banks, were responsible for, and transacted, in excess of USD 5 billion of real estate investments across the UK, Europe and US. Blue Noble was launched in a strategic partnership with Swiss based investment firm Woodman Group. Blue Noble currently manages over $550m of real estate assets and new capital on behalf of clients. Visit www.bluenoble.co.uk for more information about the firm.
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 201 cities in 24 countries. Hines has approximately $111 billion of assets under management, including $60 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services, and $51 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 108 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,295 properties, totaling over 422 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 506 properties, representing over 210 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world. Visit www.hines.com for more information.