Zeitraum, an international operator of student housing schemes, has just taken over the management of its first dormitory in Poland. JLL experts supported the investor, Zeitgeist AM, in the purchase of the asset.
Zeitgeist Asset Management, an investor operating on the Polish market for several years, has just finalized the purchase of a privately-run student hall located in Kraków from NNS. The asset is located at 33 Koszykarska Street and has been operating under the Unibase brand for three years. It can accommodate 345 people in 157 rooms. The first students will move into the building in September.
As part of its activity in the Polish living sector, Zeitgeist AM invests in both private student houses and apartments for rent. It will operate on the student housing market through its subsidiary company, Zeitraum. Zeitraum has been operating for 5 years and is currently the second largest student housing operator in the Czech Republic, managing a portfolio of 460 beds in student halls and 156 beds in serviced apartments. The Krakow dormitory will be the first outside the Czech Republic in the operator’s portfolio.
“We are glad that Krakow, as the first city in Poland, will join the student cities where we offer dormitories. We provide the same facilities for our residents in the Polish facility as in the Czech Republic, and the building we have taken over requires only minor changes to bring it up to Zeitraum’s standards,” says Zdena Noack, managing director of Zeitraum Student Housing.
Students interested in renting in the building at Koszykarska 33 will have single, double or triple rooms at their disposal. The building is also adapted for the disabled. Residents will have access to eleven modern equipped kitchens, a mini gym, a relaxation room with a large TV and a self-service laundry room. They also have car and bicycle parking at their disposal. The building is also designed to operate under strict sanitation.
“As of now, we already have close to 75 percent occupancy for the 2021/2022 academic year, and we will do our best to ensure that students feel safe and comfortable here, and that their only concern is their academic performance,” adds Zdena Noack.
The Krakow dormitory is the second investment dedicated to students in the Zeitgeist AM portfolio, but the first to become operational. The second one, a building currently under renovation in Warsaw’s Solec district is scheduled to be operational next fall.
“With a student population of more than 1.2 million and a limited rental offer, the Polish student housing sector has solid foundations and great growth prospects. Warsaw, with a population of nearly 220,000 students, and second-placed Krakow, with 130,000 students, are among the top European cities in this respect. At the same time, accommodation dedicated to this group is still far from the level offered by the largest academic centres in the world, or even in Europe itself – both in terms of availability and quality,” notes Maximilian Mendel, head of JLL’s Living Investment Team that advised the investor on the purchase of the dormitory.
According to JLL experts, as of today, in the largest cities in Poland there are about 6,100 beds provided in PBSA (purpose-built student accommodation) schemes and another 8,700 beds on the pipeline. Together, this equates to 1.2 percent of the total student population.
“Although the interest of investors looking for opportunities in the Polish living sector has been focused on the private rented sector (PRS) in recent months, I am convinced that the scale of investment in student housing will soon begin to increase. Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, occupancy levels and rent collection rates have remained stable, while the demand from students for the new academic year indicates both an excellent performance and growth in interest by investors in this asset class going forward,” comments Maximilian Mendel.
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