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Mishcon de Reya advises on forward funding deal for Watkin Jones

Posted on 11 March 2024

Mishcon de Reya has advised Watkin Jones on the successful exchange of a significant forward funding agreement.

The forward funding deal concerns a new 260-bed Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) development located at Gas Lane in Bristol. This venture introduces a new collaboration between Watkin Jones and Hines, acting on behalf of the Hines European Property Partners Fund (HEPP), to the real estate sector – and underlines the continued attractiveness of PBSA to investors.

With practical completion of the development expected in time for the 2025/26 academic year, the project will provide an answer to the pressing demands for student housing in Bristol. It will be part of the Bristol Temple Quarter regeneration initiative (one of the UK's largest urban regeneration zones), aiming to revitalise the area while providing high-quality living spaces for students, including 219 ensuite cluster bedrooms and 41 self-contained studios.

Ed Hughes-Power stated "We are delighted to have worked alongside Watkin Jones on this PBSA transaction. The deal underlines the continued success of the PBSA sector given the well-documented demand and supply issue caused by the increasing number of students going into higher education and the lack of quality student accommodation. The deal reinforces Mishcon de Reya's deep expertise in the alternative residential space, and our track record of advising on market leading deals in the sector."

The Gas Lane development is designed with sustainability at its core, aiming for BREEAM Excellent and WiredScore Silver certifications. The project will feature environmentally conscious elements such as extensive bicycle parking, biodiverse roofing, and wildlife-friendly landscaping, aligning with Watkin Jones' ESG strategy.

The Mishcon de Reya team was led by Ed Hughes-Power (Partner, Real Estate) and Adam Goldthorp (Associate, Real Estate) with assistance from Simon Hunter (Partner, Construction), Will Chung (Managing Associate, Construction), Anita Rivera (Partner, Planning), Rebecca Gough (Associate, Planning), Alex Clough (Partner, Construction Litigation), Jonathan Legg (Partner, Real Estate Tax), Isabella Adams (Managing Associate, Real Estate Tax), Oliver Neasham (Managing Associate, Real Estate) and Rebecca Murphy (Trainee, Real Estate).

With over 130 fee earners including 43 partners, Mishcon de Reya's Real Estate department is one of London’s largest and most diverse property teams. Our Real Estate department comprises well-regarded specialist practice areas and provides a one stop shop for all of our clients' property requirements. The team provides a seamless service from investment, structuring, funding, acquisition and planning, through to construction, development, tax and litigation advice.

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