MRP ‘Top Out’ on UK’s Largest Ever Single Asset Student Funding Deal

Developer MRP has announced a major forward funding deal with AIG Global Real Estate worth around £100 million for the development of ‘Onyx’ a landmark student accommodation project, at Lancaster Circus, in Birmingham City Centre.

The announcement was celebrated today at the Topping Out ceremony attended by representatives from AIG Global Real Estate, CBRE and the design and consultant teams.

MRP secured planning consent in March 2018 and McAleer & Rushe, the Design & Build Construction partner of MRP, commenced site preparation works in May of the same year. The 1,025 bed ‘Onyx’ development is due for completion in Summer 2020 and will provide a dramatic new addition to the City’s skyline. The development is located on New Town Road, adjacent to Aston and Birmingham City Universities and is within walking distance of key landmarks including the Bullring, New Street Station and a number of leisure amenities. Residents of the Onyx will benefit from best in class facilities with extensive shared spaces including health and fitness facilities, a private landscaped courtyard with a student amphitheatre and two large landscaped roof terraces with a sky lounge on the 24th floor offering exceptional views over Birmingham.

MRP and McAleer & Rushe are amongst the UK’s most recognisable developers and contractors in the student accommodation sector and they have completed c. 7,000 beds with a further 3,500 beds for completion by 2022.

Commenting on the project, Graham Mitchell, Development Director at MRP said

“The Onyx represents a significant landmark project which sets new benchmarks, offering a combination of features including height, landscaping, specification and scale not previously seen in the City. The completed building will be synonymous with the highest levels of attention to detail, providing a cutting-edge, bold and confident design, based on sound market analysis, culminating in the exceptional occupier experience for which MRP and McAleer & Rushe have become known. We are delighted to have concluded forward funding contracts with such a high-profile investor as AIG Global Real Estate for this prominent building and look forward to the opening in summer 2020.”

CBRE acted on behalf of MRP and Oli Buckland, CBRE , added,

“This announcement is testament to the strength and credibility of the delivery team, along with the fundamentals of the physical scheme, that even in the uncertainty of the current economic climate, CBRE have been able to help secure a sale of this kind to an institutional forward funding partner in AIG Global Real Estate.”

Having celebrated 50 years in business in 2017, MRP has successfully completed in excess of £1.3bn worth of commercial property developments. Its current development programme is valued at £250m with a future pipeline of schemes with a combined GDV of approximately £1.25bn.