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Student accommodation specialist completes first PBSA project worth £25m

Future Generation, the student accommodation specialist, has completed the first purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) project worth £25m

Student accommodation specialist Future Generation has successfully completed the first PBSA project worth £25m.

The Hythe Mills project in Colchester, Essex is its first purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme by the PBSA arm of developer Southern Grove.

Future Generation says the scheme is ‘a model of what top tier student accommodation will offer well into the future’, with shared spaces designed to encourage social interaction and healthy lifestyles.

Hythe Mills, built by the Kier construction company, was fully pre-let in February amid intense local competition for high-quality student accommodation.

The complex boasts 229 bedrooms, an interactive studio and a riverside networking hub. The fitness suite is equipped with virtual training programs including Spin, Body Pump and Body Combat, and is delivered in partnership with world-leading group fitness specialist Les Mills.

London-based architect Levitt Bernstein created a mix of en-suite rooms and studios across the scheme’s riverfront setting, with landscaped grounds edging the River Colne in the centre of the town. Two thirds of the rooms have been let at affordable levels below market rents.

The scheme was delivered as a joint venture with investment company Tadhamon Capital. All tenants – most of whom attend the University of Essex – benefit from the developer’s partnership with Samsung, which sees Samsung digital appliances, TVs and air conditioning installed in every room.

Chairman of Southern Grove and Future Generation, Andrew Southern, says he is incredibly proud of this development. It’s the first of a number of student developments the firm is working on and it’s also the first project they have done with Samsung.

Southern said the quality of the accommodation offered is second to none and they are leaving clear water between them and the competition.

He adds that they absolutely refuse to create schemes that aren’t design led, and Hythe Mills is a thing of beauty. They are determined not to end up among the ranks of developers whose buildings are pointed out in 30 years’ time as examples of hasty mistakes created by accountants. It’s all about the environment and an architectural legacy, as much as turning a profit.

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