Hines and Henderson to build a students' residence in Barcelona

The British companies have acquired the site in the 22@ Innovation District, where they will offer a total of 750 beds

The real estate firm Hines and the real estate investment platform Henderson Park have completed the acquisition of a site in the city of Barcelona, in which they plan to develop a student housing project with 750 beds.

This is the second joint investment by the two British companies following an earlier project in Lancaster (United Kingdom). The site, which occupies an area of 20,000 m², is located in the 22@ Innovation District beside the Poblenou neighborhood and 15 minutes' walk from nearby university campuses. The developers expect it to come online for the 2021-2022 academic year.

The new residence, to be called Aparto Diagonal Mar, will feature common areas with a swimming pool, gym and other sports facilities. Aparto, Hines' in-house operating platform, will manage the asset once it is operational.

Attractive market
In their choice of Barcelona, the companies took into account that this is one of Europe's top student markets, calculated at 186,000. There is an undersupply of student accommodation, in spite of the fact that Barcelona is home to two of the most prestigious universities in Spain: the University of Barcelona and the Barcelona Autónoma University, in addition to other internationally renowned institutions.

According to Nick Weber, founding partner of Henderson Park: “The Spanish market, and Barcelona in particular, presents highly attractive supply and demand dynamics for an investment into the student accommodation sector, and we’ve identified a clear appetite for the kind of high quality purpose-built product we plan to deliver in this transforming neighborhood of Barcelona.

For his part, Lars Huber, CEO of Hines Europe, says: “The fundamentals of Barcelona’s student housing market are very strong, with an undersupply of quality accommodation, despite the popularity of its universities. 22@ Innovation District is set to provide a memorable living experience and is the ideal location for our Aparto management platform, with its strong placemaking and community focus”.