Date Uploaded: 13/07/2016
A UK based development company is to invest up to €400m in student accommodation in a number of Irish cities over the next number of years.
Ziggurat Student Investment Fund Unit Trust, which already provides student accommodation in Dublin, Cork and Edinburgh, is set to create a further 4,000 places between Dublin, Cork and Galway.
The development group says the investment is the next step in their €400m long term plan to create 4,000 student bed spaces across Ireland.
The group also says almost €100m capital investment will now be sought to realise the latest developments.
On Monday Matthew McAdden of Ziggurat told: “There is a severe shortage of high quality student accommodation in Ireland, driven by historic under-investment and by a growing university population.”
Ziggurat’s latest move is expected to generate 380 student accommodation units at the former H Textile premises at Upper Dominic Street, which is off Bolton Street in Dublin.
It says the new development is “convenient to the campuses at Grangegorman and Trinity College”.
A further 420 units are planned for the company’s North Circular Road site, which is also adjacent to Dublin Institute of Technology at Grangegorman.
Meanwhile in Cork, Ziggurat acquired the former Esso Station on Western Road and have made a planning application to create a 205 unit development there.
It hopes to open the Cork development by 2018.
A further development is also planned for Galway.
On Monday the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) welcomed the announcement but pointed to the need for continued government involvement in the issue of housing, including the housing of students.
USI President Annie Hoey toldthat although she welcomes the plan to increase student housing, she does not think private companies should be filling the space left by government.
She explained: “It should not be a get out of the jail free card for the government.”
She also said the USI believes the government should continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders in the housing crisis and include student housing in plans to tackle the issue.
Ms Hoey also said the 4,000 proposed units were just a “small drop in the number [of units] required”.
Ziggurat has previously invested in student housing in Montrose in Dublin, with rooms available for the upcoming academic year from €245 per week.
This property had been converted by Ziggurat from the former Montrose Hotel into the current 192-bed Montrose Student Residence.
The company says the property is now on the market with Savills and is expected to raise €40m based on what it says are “higher than predicted rents and full occupancy”.
It claims to offer “secure and quality accommodation” within a 4 minute walking distance of University College Dublin.
The current Montrose property offers students what the company describes as “cluster flats” of 6 and 8 bedrooms, with shared kitchens and living spaces.
According to the company’s website, its Copley Court and Leeside properties in Cork are already booked out for the upcoming academic year, which begins in September.
Journalist: Tomas Heneghan