Howard Osborne LLP, the joint venture between Cambridge based property developer and investor Howard Group and Osborne, which specialises in developing student accommodation, is delighted to have received the ‘Collaboration of the Year’ Award for its development of Mount Pleasant Halls for St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge at last night’s Property Week Student Accommodation Awards.
The award recognises the growing importance of collaboration between the private sector – developers, operators and institutional investors – and universities. Howard Osborne’s development of Mount Pleasant Halls was commended as an outstanding partnership, with innovation and forward thinking at the heart of the development.
Designed with St Edmund’s specific requirements in mind, Mount Pleasant Halls has student well-being at its heart. Providing 199 en-suite standard rooms and 73 studio flats, each room benefits from an en-suite shower room or wet room. Clusters of eight standard rooms are grouped around fully equipped, hi-specification shared kitchens and communal living areas. Additional details, such as state of the art security, secure undercover cycle storage and a consistently high-quality finish throughout create an inspirational environment befitting the modern student lifestyle and expectations, as well as future proofing the building for years to come.
Having originally speculatively purchased the site from the Universities Superannuation Scheme in 2013, Howard Osborne gained planning permission and secured St Edmund’s College as the pre-let occupier, taking an overriding long-term lease, with the option to acquire the freehold at lease end. Attracted by this innovative deal structure and valuable student accommodation investment let on an annuity income style lease, institutional investor Legal & General committed to fund the development.
William Jewson, Director – Development, Howard Group commented: “We are delighted that the Howard Osborne collaboration to deliver an exceptional student development for St Edmund’s College has been recognised in this way. The two organisations have truly come together as one, combining shared values and experience, to create a unique and long-lasting partnership. The development of Mount Pleasant Halls is our first joint venture project and we look forward to being able to announce our next development in due course.”
David Sarson, MD, Property Development and Investment, Osborne said:“Receiving this award in recognition of the collaboration which saw Mount Pleasant Halls become a reality is wonderful. The project is a fantastic example of all parties working together to achieve an outcome where everyone has won. I would particularly like to commend the outstanding commitment and drive not just of our core Howard Osborne team, but also that of St Edmund’s and L&G; all of whom worked tirelessly to bring the project to its conclusion in time for the start of the new academic year. Being part of enabling St Edmund’s College to provide first class accommodation that will benefit its students and their college experience for many years to come has been a great privilege.”