Investors to build €83m student apartments in Cork city

Round Hill Capital and NBK to build accommodation near UCC after €10m land deal

Investors Round Hill Capital and NBK plan to spend €83 million on building student apartments in Cork following a €10 million land deal.

Multinational Round Hill is a global property investor whose activities include building student blocks.

The company and its partner, Kuwait-based NBK Capital Funds, have paid €10.3 million for a 1.5-acre site on Bandon Road in Cork city with full planning permission for 412 student accommodation beds.

The pair intend to spend a total of €83 million on the development, which will be their fourth in Republic and bring the number of student beds the partnership owns to 1,350.


Their deal includes and option to buy an adjoining property with the scope for another 142 beds, subject to that getting full planning permission.

Bandon Road is close to University College Cork, the city's biggest third-level institution.

Round Hill said its site, which previously held the Bandon Joinery builders’ supplies and carpentry business, should be ready for the 2022 academic year.

UK student accommodation manager Nido will run the development on the developers' behalf once it is completed. That company manages 15 such projects in Britain.

Critical need

The property companies aim to build student apartments with a total of more than 2,000 beds in the Republic.

They already have a development in the Liberties in Dublin, for which they paid €85 million earlier this year.

Elsewhere in Cork, they have sites with planning for 145 beds on Farranlea Road and 275 beds on Washingon Street.

Their statement noted that Cork has more than 25,600 full-time students, 15 per cent of the total in the Republic.

John Vaudin, managing director of Round Hill Capital (Ireland), noted there was a "critical" need for student accommodation in the State.

"Round Hill Capital has significant capital to deploy into its strong and growing pipeline of investment opportunities in the purpose-built student accommodation and build-to-rent sectors in Ireland, " he added.

Michael Bickford, Round Hill's founder and chief executive, said demand for student apartments and homes was outstripping supply.

He predicted that the UK-based company’s plans would help “alleviate” this pressure.

Faisal Al-Hamad, chief executive of NBK Capital, confirmed that students had already moved into part of the Farranlea Road development.

Round Hill has businesses in Europe and the US. National Bank of Kuwait backs NBK, which has offices in Kuwait, Dubai, Istanbul and Cairo.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas