Downing Sell Two PBSA assets to Blackstone for £370m

Downing has sold two purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) assets – Vega in London and The Mont in Edinburgh – to Blackstone in a deal worth £370m.

Vega is an 841-bed property located in Vauxhall, close to key transport links which provide excellent connectivity to top tier universities throughout central London. Opened in 2021 and built to a BREEAM Excellent standard, it offers best in-class amenities for residents, including a gym, private dining area, sky lounge and roof terrace.

The Mont, a brand-new property which opened in September 2023, comprises 324 beds and is located a short walk from the University of Edinburgh’s Central Area and the historic city centre. The property provides students with amenities including a cinema room, private dining area, gym and residents lounge.

London and Edinburgh are two of the UK’s most vibrant and popular university destinations for students. London is ranked the best student city in the world with four of the world’s top 50 universities, while The University of Edinburgh is one of the UK’s most prestigious universities – ranked 5th in the UK, 1st in Scotland and 15th globally.

“This transaction will enhance our ability to accelerate the expansion of our pipeline, which already includes over 5,000 new student beds across Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, Newcastle and London.

“Downing is the UK’s longest-standing private PBSA provider, and we are proud to manage a vast portfolio of high-quality student accommodation. After 35 years, our commitment remains unwavering in providing exceptional student living spaces and making a positive impact in the communities we serve.

“We have strong ambitions for the growth of Downing Students and Downing Living, and going forward, we will seek co-investment opportunities with the right partners.”

Bay Downing

Investment Director at Downing

“London and Edinburgh are two of the UK’s most attractive student cities, with world leading educational institutions attracting students from both across the UK and abroad. We are delighted to have partnered with Downing Students on these transactions.”

Samir Amichi

Head of Real Estate Acquisitions Europe, Blackstone