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Opening of new 117 no. studio student accommodation development, Sycamore House, Woodhouse Square, Leeds

Walker Morris team advises on new student development – delivered on time, on budget and 100% let

Walker Morris’ student development accommodation team has advised Crosslane Student Developments, (part of the Crosslane Property Group), alongside joint venture partner Harrison Street Real Estate Capital (“Harrison Street”), on its Sycamore House student accommodation development scheme at Woodhouse Square, Leeds.

The opening ceremony was conducted by Robert Goulsbra, Senior Development Manager at Crosslane, David Lawrence, Development Director at Harrison Street and Gary Walton, Managing Director at Torsion Group, the main contractor on the project, and attended by the team of professional partners working on the development, along with other members of the Crosslane team, in addition to representatives from both Leeds Universities.

The new development was opened on time and on budget, following a 12-month construction timetable that began in September 2017. Prime Student Living, the student accommodation lettings and operational management arm of Crosslane, has successfully ensured that the property is fully let for the 2018/19 academic year, reflecting the strong demand for high specification student accommodation in the City.

The development is the first of four new purpose-built student accommodation schemes to be opened within Crosslane’s joint venture with Harrison Street. In addition to Leeds, the joint venture also includes new developments in Coventry, Portsmouth and Swansea, which will all be completed in time for the 2019/20 academic year, delivering a combined total of 1,294 beds, with an expected gross development value of £125 million.

Sycamore House is bespoke and comprises 117 premium en-suite studio apartments, ranging from 20sqm to 38sqm arranged over five storeys. The exterior has been designed to complement the neighbouring Georgian style properties within the conservation area of Woodhouse Square, with bedrooms surrounding a central, landscaped, private courtyard.

The Walker Morris team comprised The Planning team, Tom Peel (Construction) and Michael Taylor (Finance).

Head of Planning Consultancy from the firm’s Planning & Environment Team, acted as consultancy lead and provided planning advice to Crosslane from the scheme’s inception in relation to the site, which had previously been refused planning permission for student accommodation development. He commented:

We are delighted to have been able to successfully advise Crosslane Student Developments on its newest development at Woodhouse Square. This was an especially challenging site in planning, social and heritage terms and in one of the City’s famous Georgian squares and Conservation Area. A bespoke, co-ordinated and sophisticated approach was needed with strong client support. It was pleasing to see the development successfully delivered on time and on budget.”

Robert Goulsbra, Senior Development Manager, Crosslane Student Developments, said:
“We are delighted to open Sycamore House, our first student accommodation development in the City, and second in Yorkshire following the opening of Brass Founders in Sheffield last year. Leeds is a vibrant student City, where demand for high-quality purpose-built student accommodation continues to outstrip supply, due to its growing student population.

This is also a landmark development for Crosslane, being the first property completed with our joint venture partner Harrison Street, which will deliver a combined total of 1,294 beds over four cities by the start of the 2019/20 academic year.”

Crosslane Leeds Opening