Ivanhoé Cambridge, Bouwinvest and Greystar launch Paris student and young professionals accommodation venture with €1 billion investment capacity

Global real estate institutional investment companies Ivanhoé Cambridge Holdings UK Ltd (“Ivanhoé Cambridge”) and Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors (“Bouwinvest”) alongside Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC (“Greystar”), a global leader in the investment, development and management of high-quality rental housing properties, today announced a new ‘develop-to-core’ venture focused on funding purpose-built student accommodation (“PBSA”) and young professional accommodation in the Greater Paris Region, with an investment capacity of €1 billion.

This newly created platform will be governed through its board composed of Ivanhoé Cambridge as a majority shareholder, Bouwinvest and Greystar, which will also operationally manage the venture. The objective is to deploy funds to target new acquisitions, including ground-up developments and projects already under construction. The venture has already identified a significant pipeline of opportunities in the Paris Region and is targeting a number of initial acquisitions over the coming months.

The venture will focus on delivering best-in-class student and young professional accommodation, including exceptional amenities and services, with a preference for locations with exposure to the extensive Greater Paris public transport projects. This focus is aligned with the shareholders strategy in other major European cities, focusing on hubs with stable employment and long-term persistent rental housing demand, such as London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Vienna.

The venture will leverage Greystar’s expertise of nearly 30 years in rental housing (conventional multifamily, student and senior living) in more than thirteen countries and its vertically integrated global investment management platform, enabling the venture to deploy this global knowledge whilst specifically tailoring its accommodation and services to local requirements. 

Paris is home to a high concentration of world-class higher education institutions, an exciting cultural scene and attractive job prospects, which continue to attract domestic and overseas students. The French capital is also characterised by an imbalance in the supply of high-quality student accommodation, signaling significant opportunities for the new venture. 

Karim Habra, Head of Europe & Asia-Pacific, Ivanhoé Cambridge, said: “Greater Paris and co-living markets for student and young professionals are major growth areas for our European strategy. At the same time, the Covid-19 crisis is accelerating trends towards more premium flexible products and services in key locations. We believe this is the right time as the ’alternative’ housing market is well positioned with these trends and Paris is highly attractive given its higher-education institutions, while there is a significant growing demand for student housing. We are delighted to do this with Bouwinvest as well as with Greystar, one of our major strategic partners across the world. 

Robert Koot, Director European Investments, Bouwinvest, said: “The fundamentals of the student and young professional market are very robust. Demand for high quality – but affordable – housing from student populations in metropolitan areas around the world remains strong. We have already invested in this segment in the Netherlands and Australia and via this new joint venture are now broadening our exposure and diversifying our allocation to France. This investment contributes to Bouwinvest’s objective of achieving a long term solid return in a sustainable and responsible manner. Ivanhoé Cambridge and Greystar are well-known to us and are excellent partners.”

Hideki Kurata, Managing Director – France, Greystar, said: “We have been active in France for close to two years and have built a successful portfolio of owned and managed assets across the country. Our new venture with Ivanhoé Cambridge and Bouwinvest will give us significant fire power to deliver on our plans to utilise our expertise in investing, developing and operating high quality student accommodation assets across the world to build a highly amenitised portfolio from the ground up in an underserved global city with strong market fundamentals. Paris is home to a number of world-class employers and higher education institutions and famously has a vibrant culture that attracts both domestic and international students to study. Coupled with the city’s ambitious public transport programme, which will further improve connections across Paris, there is no better time to get this venture off the ground.”