Downing, a property firm based in Liverpool, has confirmed development plans for two new student housing blocks in Cambridge and London. The developments, which together are worth £90 million, will provide accommodation for 770 students studying in these cities. These new plans are the latest stage in the strategy by Downing to invest in the acquisition of sites in cities with high student populations, paying particular attention to the most prestigious further education centres.
The London development will be situated in Acton, in West London, and will be an 80,000 sq ft project comprising two towers with seven storeys each, making up 184 studio flats. The development will also incorporate retail sites on the ground floors of each block, a biodiversity park and a pocket park, and will provide convenient access to the tube station in North Acton. The larger Cambridge development will comprise three blocks, made up of a mix of studio and cluster flats, housing a total of 586 of the city’s students. This project also includes non-student flats, retail space, bars and restaurants as part of the wider scheme.
The development director for Downing, Paul Houghton, said:
“These acquisitions mark a significant milestone in our strategy to bring the Downing brand of superior, sustainable and energy-efficient buildings to the UK’s major student centres.”
The development in Acton which is being built by George Downing Construction – the in-house building division for Downing – is expected to be completed by September 2013, with work beginning on the Cambridge development sometime next year.