Hines opens 447-bed block in Dublin with plans for more

US firm’s fourth student block is on Dorset Street as it eyes up fifth on Cork Street

Hines has just opened its latest development, the 447-bedroom Dorset Point on Dorset Street. Alex Knapp, the managing director of the student accommodation business, said it is seeking planning for another block on Cork Street.  Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

Hines has just opened its latest development, the 447-bedroom Dorset Point on Dorset Street. Alex Knapp, the managing director of the student accommodation business, said it is seeking planning for another block on Cork Street. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

 

Property giant Hines intends seeking planning permission for a new student accommodation block in Dublin after opening its fourth such facility in the capital on Wednesday.

The US-based multinational is spending €600 million on student apartment blocks in the Republic and Britain, where it has a total of 14 sites, five of which are in Dublin.

Hines has just opened its latest development, the 447-bedroom Dorset Point on Dorset Street. Alex Knapp, the managing director of the student accommodation business, said it is seeking planning for another block on Cork Street, which will hold more than 200 bedrooms.

When that is completed in about two years, its five blocks in Dublin will have in the region of 1,700 beds. Its existing four blocks account for more than 1,470 of that total.

Cork Street will be the first that Hines will have begun from scratch, as it bought the other four from Oaktree Capital’s Threesixty Developments either completed or under construction, for a reported €240 million. Hines is not saying how much of the €600 million it is spending in the Republic.

Dorset Point and a 450-bed block in nearby Summerhill were under construction while facilities in Montrose, close to UCD and Binary Point in the Liberties were completed.

Opportunity-led

Mr Knapp said that it has looked at the market in Cork and Galway, but as yet has no definite plans to expand its student business into either centre. “It’s opportunity-led,” he explained.

“We look at the quality of the universities, that’s really important, the number of students and the vibrancy of the underlying economy.” Mr Knapp added that Dublin’s economy was “particularly vibrant”.

He acknowledged that the cost of buying properties in Dublin was rising. “Prices are going up,” he said. “Prices are high, site prices are high and expectations on all fronts are very high.”

Dorset Point opened under Hines’s student accommodation brand, Aparto, over the last 10 days, when it began taking language students on shorter-term stays in the city.

It will charge €235 a-week for 41 weeks through the academic year. Students will have their rooms, utilities including wifi, and amenities such as a gym, in-house cinema and bike parking covered by this. Each block is manned around the clock and employs seven to eight full-time staff.