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ESG-leading PBSA project in Alicante attracts €17.5m Fiera loan

Image for ESG-leading PBSA project in Alicante attracts  €17.5m Fiera loan

  • Amro Partners and Falco Capital have financed Article 8-compliant Alicante PBSA project
  • €17.5m development loan marks Fiera Capital’s European Real Estate Debt platform’s debut into Spanish market
  • Amro is going one step further in its commitment to sustainability, adopting Passivhaus design principles for Alicante which will also target BREEAM Outstanding certification
  • Construction started in Q4 2023 and will be completed by September 2025

Amro Partners and Falco Capital have financed their joint student housing project in Alicante with a €17.5m 3-year development loan from Fiera Capital’s European Real Estate Debt platform. The global asset management firm is making its debut into the Iberian market via the Article 8-compliant Fiera European Real Estate Debt Fund.

Amro Estudiantes Alicante is the first PBSA building in Spain to adopt a Passivhaus design discipline, with investment in fabric efficiency, renewable energy technology and solar control in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree Celsius carbon emissions reduction pathway. Targeting an energy use intensity of just c.100kWh/m2.yr, that includes PH levels of cooling demand and heating demand of less than <15 kWh/m2.yr, the building achieves the maximum score in the SFDR Article 8 under the development section.

Seeking their first investment in the Spanish lending market, Fiera was drawn to Amro’s strong track record for delivering market leading green PBSA assets, and the project’s specific ESG credentials including BREEAM ‘Outstanding’, EPC A++, Fitwel 3* and WiredScore ‘Platinum’.

The current ratio of students to dedicated beds in Alicante stands at around 5:1, with student numbers continuing to rise year on year. Located a 3-minute walk from Universidad de Alicante’s main campus, the €30m GDV project will deliver c.285 student beds in San Vicente del Raspeig, providing twodios, doubles and studios alongside dedicated study spaces and shared facilities including a swimming pool, canteen, terraces, a gym and 92 on-site parking spaces. The project has achieved full planning permission, with work having commenced on site in Q4 2023 and set to complete in Q3 2025.

Fiera’s European Debt platform is part of its global real estate credit product offering, where a further USD2bn assets are under management in North America and Asia.

David Renshaw, Co-Head of Fiera’s European Real Estate Debt business, commented: “We are delighted to have transacted on this high-quality development facility. Since joining Fiera, we have remained consistent in our investment approach; to back best-in-class management teams and lend against fundamentally good real estate in sectors that suffer from undersupply and have favourable long-term outlooks.

“Amro has a proven track record in delivering best-in-class student accommodation and we look forward to further building on our very good relationship.” 

Charles Allen, Head of European Real Estate, commented: “Our European debt strategy is an important portfolio diversifier that takes advantage of a new macroeconomic regime and Fiera’s global expertise in this space. This transaction proves the underlying appeal of our model, which offers creative finance solutions to sponsors and stable inflation linked income streams in resilient asset classes to investors.”

Raj Kotecha, Chairman and CEO of Amro Partners, said: “Our strategy to create Europe’s most sustainable living real estate portfolio is paying dividends in terms of attracting the highest quality global lenders. We are delighted to be working with Fiera Real Estate as they make their European PBSA debut and looking forward to delivering this exemplar student housing asset in a prime location close to Alicante’s main university hub.”

Last month, Amro and Falco refinanced four operational student housing assets in Spain via a €70m investment loan from blue chip global lender Nuveen Real Estate, which forms part of the TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America). Amro is focused on creating a market leading PBSA portfolio in continental Europe over the next 24 months, leveraging its existing actionable pipeline of +5,000 student beds.