Curlew Capital

Curlew Capital agrees £44m loan with Lloyds Bank for PBSA development programme

Curlew Capital has completed a £44m senior loan with Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.


The Sterling Over Night Indexed Average (SONIA) linked facility will fund the development of 550 beds across three PBSA schemes located in Brighton, Bath and south London.

The debt package was structured by Ximena Redfern-Tongs and Sam Shah, part of the global investors and listed team within Lloyds Bank’s real estate and housing franchise, which is led by Klaus Betz-Vais.

The three-year facility represents the first transaction between Curlew and Lloyds Bank and will support the construction of the projects all the way through to stabilisation.

The PBSA projects will incorporate the latest in sustainable building design, including low water and energy consumption, as well as a selection of construction materials with lower CO2 output than more traditional options.

The projects consist of:
a 185-bed scheme in Zone 2 in Bermondsey, expected to be completed for the start of the 2022/23 academic year 
a 232-bed scheme on London Road, Brighton, expected to be completed this summer 
a 138-bed development in Bath, which is expected to complete for the start of the 2022/23 academic year.

The Bermondsey and Brighton schemes are targeting a BREEAM Excellent certification.

Curlew is currently bringing forward six PBSA developments across the UK, totalling approximately 1,600 beds, as it targets the delivery of 5,000 beds over the next three years. 

Brett Robinson, CFO at Curlew Capital, said: “This transaction is a key milestone in the delivery of our development pipeline. 

“In Lloyds Bank, we have a partner that shares our conviction in the sector’s favourable outlook, and who have a long track record of funding successful student accommodation schemes across the UK. 

“As important, they are also aligned with our commitment to deliver highly sustainable buildings which contribute to the ecosystem of their local community. 

Despite the well-publicised headwinds faced last year, the longer-term fundamentals for the PBSA sector remain highly compelling, with reservation rates for the upcoming academic year providing further evidence of the sector’s resilience. 

“We have an ambitious development pipeline as we position ourselves as a key player in meeting what we believe will be growing demand from both domestic and overseas students in the coming years.”

Sam Shah, director and alternative residential lead at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, added: “We are excited to be initiating a lending relationship with Curlew through the financing of three high quality PBSA assets and, in doing so, to continue our support for the student economy. 

“While the UK PBSA sector has experienced some stress as a direct consequence of the pandemic, the broader investment thesis is still in favour of high quality stock in markets where there continues to be a demand/supply imbalance.”

Earlier this month, Curlew Capital received resolution to grant planning for a 282-room PBSA development in Stratford, East London.

To date, the alternative real estate development, asset and fund manager has committed over £1bn to the PBSA sector, representing nearly 11,000 beds across 34 schemes in 23 major university markets, consisting of a mix of direct developments, refurbishment and forward fundings.

Curlew launched its first fund, Curlew Student Trust, in 2013, followed by CST2 in 2018, both of which were backed by clients of CBRE GIP.

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