Unite Students, one of the UK’s most prolific providers of student accommodation, has completed construction of its latest development worth £114 million.
Built on the site of a former casino and pub in the heart of Leeds city centre, White Rose View is near the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University.
The development in Merrion Way, Leeds, comprises two towers – one 16 storeys and the other 27 storeys high. Construction continued throughout lockdown while maintaining strict social distancing regulations on site and was delivered in time for the start of the new academic year. Students have already begun moving in.
The construction site operated as one of the few Ultra Considerate Construction sites in the UK, which includes enhanced welfare standards being maintained on site and throughout the supply chain.
The design of White Rose View was influenced by students, for students, with camera technology utilised during the design phase to record how students move around their homes and how much time is spent in communal areas.
As a result, the building was created to increase individual and group study spaces and larger communal kitchens, as well as an in-house well-equipped gym, cinema room and sound-proofed karaoke room – the first of its kind in a Unite Students’ property.
Matthew Loughlin, Unite’s group development director, says the quality of White Rose View makes it ‘one of the best student accommodation buildings Unite has delivered to date’.
“The fact we completed the construction on time is a credit to everyone involved. We did so while maintaining strict government guidelines, which meant reduced numbers of trades on site at any one time, and there was also a knock-on effect on the supply of some materials which we had to find technical solutions for, often at short notice.”
Accommodation in the property consists of households of between four and seven en-suite rooms grouped around shared kitchens and living areas. There are also some individual studio flats.
Almost three-fifths of White Rose View’s beds have been secured in a 30-year lease deal by the University of Leeds. Unite Students’ partnership with University of Leeds dates back more than 15 years. The remaining rooms are available to all students on a direct-let basis.
Moray Notman, Unite Students’ university engagement director, comments: “This 30-year agreement with the University of Leeds is the latest step in our national strategy. Our property activity is focused on further improving our alignment to high and mid-ranked universities and being in the best locations.”
Ian Robertson, director of residential and catering services at University of Leeds, adds: “White Rose View is magnificent. It is perfectly located for our students as it’s very close to both the University campus and the city centre. The building and the locale boast excellent levels of amenity and I am certain that our students will love living there. We’ve worked very closely with Unite for many years, and they are a trusted partner.”
Unite Students holds a five-star rating from the British Safety Council. To help support students, University of Leeds’ wardens have a base in the building, alongside student resident life assistants who live in the property.
This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.