Berkeley First has delivered a landmark 730-bed student accommodation scheme in partnership with University of the Arts, London and Knightsbridge Student Housing, on the site of the BBC’s former Wardrobe and Wigs store in North Acton.
Berkeley First, the specialist student accommodation division of the FTSE 250 Berkeley Group, first purchased the building in 2009 having secured a 25 year nominations agreement with University of the Arts London. Planning permission to redevelop the site into student accommodation was achieved within just six months of purchase and the scheme was forward sold in 2011 to Knightsbridge Student Housing, who will operate the building under The Student Housing Company brand.
Named ‘The Costume Store’ in reference to its heritage, the site was also used as Television Rehearsal Rooms for classic TV shows such as Dad’s Army and Up Pompeii. The striking new 18 storey building features a WIFI enabled student lounge and snug, art gallery, management offices, an on site laundry, art workshop, landscaped internal courtyards and an external Multi Use Games Area.
Matthew Biddle, Managing Director of Berkeley First, said: “Demand for high quality, purpose built student accommodation at attainable prices continues to grow across London. In partnership with University of the Arts London and Knightsbridge Student Housing we have delivered a bespoke, high specification scheme in an area undergoing extensive regeneration.”
Bob Crompton, Chief Executive of Knightsbridge Student Housing, added: “The opportunity to purchase the completed development from Berkeley First was an attractive one and The Costume Store makes a great addition to our portfolio.”
Last year Berkeley First and university partner Imperial College London sold Griffon Studios, a postgraduate student accommodation development in Battersea, to Legal and General Property for £116 million. In a deal described as an industry first, Legal & General let Griffon Studios to ImperialCollege on a 45-year annual RPI lease, after which ownership will revert to the University.
Berkeley First will deliver 2,000 student beds in 2012 and 2013 in partnership with Imperial College London, University of the Arts, the University of Kent and StudentCastle.