A new student development in Newcastle has entered the last stages of the construction process. The St. James' Point development sits opposite the Newcastle University Business School, and will provide the city with an additional 400+ student beds by 2015.
St. James' Point benefits from a strong location that is likely to make it popular with students. As well as being on the doorstep of Newcastle University Business School, the development is within walking distance of the main Newcastle University campus, Northumbria University, Newcastle College, and a strong supply of local amenities such as shops and restaurants.
The site was first acquired in March 2013, with planning permission to build a development that would provide 215 students with purpose-built studio apartments. This was followed by the acquisition of an additional, adjoined site in October 2013. On this site, planning permission was also granted for the build of an additional 203 student beds, directly connected to the original development.
Prime Student Living will manage the development. Prime are one of the companies that make up the Crosslane Group. Founder James Metcalf has spoken for the reason behind Crosslane's investment in the student market, saying: "There are many high-yield investment opportunities in student accommodation, both in the UK and across mainland Europe." He went on to say that Crosslane's investment in this sector of the property market "is providing strong returns in areas where additional accommodation is needed, such as here in Newcastle."
The new development has been described as "a major step forward for education in Newcastle." Of the impact St. James Point will have on the supply of student properties in Newcastle, he said: "Until recently, purpose-built student accommodation was available to only around a quarter of the city’s almost 40,000 students. When the building is completed in September, 215 students will be calling it home."
Other companies involved with the project have also spoken of their high hopes for the new development. These included specialist developer Buile, who were behind the development of the site Buile's director Andy Whatson described the apartments to be contained within St. James' Point as "superior quality." Meanwhile, Andrew Constantine, regional managing director of Shepherd Construction, said that his company was "proud to have been awarded this contract and to play such a significant role in delivering this landmark student accommodation project."
Constantine also referred to a recent "topping out" ceremony to mark construction work moving into the final stages. He said that the ceremony marked "an important milestone on the road to creating unique and practical spaces for the students of Newcastle" and that the approaching completion of St. James' point represents "a very exciting time for us all."