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Starwood Capital, Urbeo And ISIF Planning €1B BTR Business In Ireland

New Bancroft scheme in Tallaght

Adding to the growing pile of money chasing build-to-rent assets in Dublin, Starwood Capital Group has announced that it is joining forces with Urbeo Residential and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to create a €1B platform focused purely on the sector.

The Urbeo platform plans to buy rental accommodation with an element of social and supported tenancies in Dublin and other major Irish cities. Acquisitions are expected to be done primarily through forward purchase and forward funding deals.

The partnership said it will seek to work with builders, developers and housing associations to deliver new rental housing projects in well-serviced locations, with good connectivity to employment centres.

Urbeo will start off with a portfolio of three Dublin assets comprising 334 private and social units. So far, just one of these properties has been announced — namely, the 131-unit New Bancroft in Tallaght, bought in July 2017 for €33M.

The partnership said it also has more than 2,500 units in negotiation or exclusivity.

“We have identified a rich pipeline of assets to acquire, and expect to be busy in the coming months,” Urbeo founder Frank Kenny said.

“Our expectation is to grow the fund into the pre-eminent PRS investment fund in the country in terms of scale, quality of delivery to tenants, and long term returns to investors.”

Starwood Capital said it will invest in Urbeo through Starwood Global Opportunity Fund XI, its 11th opportunistic real estate fund, which closed in April 2018 with commitments of over $7.5B.

“The Irish multifamily sector, particularly in Dublin, provides our investors exposure to a market exhibiting a structural supply shortage and compelling growth prospects,” Starwood Capital Vice President Matthew Parrot said.

Ireland Strategic Investment Fund Head of Investment Strategy Kieran Bristow said his organisation’s total investment of up to €60M — including its share of the Tallaght property — has been central to the establishment of the platform.