05/02/2014 02:27 PM
The student accommodation specialist has purchased the 120,000 sq ft scheme in the Scottish city for a development cost of £20 million. It is the company's fifth plots of land in Aberdeen and it revealed that it was in talks to acquire two more sites in similarly strong regional locations with a hope to have this completed in the final quarter of 2014.
Following the outlay of investment Unite is hoping to see a return of 9.5 per cent to ten per cent yield on the development. The site in question is currently home to derelict, listed school so it would require Unite to redevelop the ageing building as part of its overall design. Officials explained that once completed the former school would accommodate 18 per cent of the bedrooms Unite expect to build.
It is close to the University of Aberdeen and provides good transport links to Robert Gordon University. This development represents the second project to be funded from the proceeds of Unite's June 2013 share placing following the acquisition of a site in Newcastle in January 2014. These two ventures account for around 40 per cent of the capital raised to bring them to fruition.
Unite has set a deadline of the 2016/17 academic year for the students halls to be open and welcoming undergraduates and postgraduates a like. Around 400 students will be able to be accommodated in the new development.
Richard Simpson, managing director of property for UNITE said: "This acquisition marks further progress with UNITE's selective regional development programme and is a prime example of how we are investing the proceeds from our 2013 share placing.
"This site is in an excellent central location, in a market with favourable supply/demand dynamics and in a city we expect to experience continued growth. By renovating and bringing back into use a listed building, we are pleased to contribute to the regeneration of this city centre location."
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