Equitix and ENGIE achieve Financial Close on the Kingston University Residences Project

Kingston Student Living (KSL) has successfully achieved Financial Close on a prestigious £100m+ student accommodation project for Kingston University in south west London. KSL comprises Equitix, a prominent investor in the student housing sector, and ENGIE, a leading energy, services and regeneration company that also delivers and manages state of the art student accommodation facilities. Kingston University is also an investor in the consortium.

The project will see the refurbishment of 1,216 existing rooms and the addition of 117 new rooms on the University’s Kingston Hill and Seething Wells sites. With innovative architecture and careful planning, the project is set to transform the overall student experience for residents, replacing older stock with modern, fit-for-purpose accommodation. The project also involves the sensitive renovation of five heritage buildings at the Seething Wells site. 

Architects TP Bennett have developed pioneering design solutions, creating an extra floor on many of the accommodation blocks at Seething Wells.  In addition the buildings will have new extensions, housing modern kitchen common rooms that will serve bedroom clusters ranging in size from 6 to 12 spaces.

KSL is responsible for all aspects of the development from securing the project financing to construction, ongoing management and maintenance of the facilities.

ENGIE will provide facilities management services to both sites for a minimum of 40 years. The project benefits from a nomination agreement with the university and the rooms will be marketed and allocated by Kingston University in parallel with its own stock.

The senior financing is in the form of privately placed bonds (50% fixed-rate, 50% index-linked) wrapped by Assured Guaranty. The bonds have an underlying rating of BBB- but are rated AA with a stable outlook with the wrap from Assured Guaranty.

Construction will commence in July 2020 and is due to complete in 2022.

Kingston University Vice-Chancellor Professor Steven Spier said:

“The environment and spaces in which students live, study and socialise have a real impact on their time at university. This long-term partnership with Equitix and ENGIE will allow us to improve on and upgrade our halls of residence at Seething Wells and Kingston Hill for the benefit of our students, ensuring they have access to high quality, modern accommodation while they complete their degrees.”

Ben Leech, Development Director for Equitix comments:

“We are delighted to have achieved financial close on this project. We have enjoyed working closely with our consortium partners and are proud to add this prestigious project to our student accommodation portfolio.  We now look forward to working closely with the University to help regenerate its campus offering and deliver its vision for top-quality student housing.”

Colin Macpherson, Chief Executive Officer for ENGIE’s Places & Communities Division, said:

“The new accommodation at Kingston University will boast top of the range, modern living in an energy efficiency environment. ENGIE continues to work closely with all of our partners to drive forward our zero carbon ambitions and Kingston will be an exemplar of how universities can thrive in a modern world. We are delighted that the project has achieved financial close and look forward to a long and successful relationship with the University.”