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Japan: GSA joint venture to supply 20k student beds

Student accommodation provider, GSA, has announced a joint venture that will build student accommodation for 20,000 domestic and international students in Japan.

The University of Tokyo's Hongō campus is situated in the district of Bunkyo-ku, where the 364 student beds will be available from next year. Photo: wikicommons/XIIIfromTOKYO

The partnership's first development will open in 2018, and will host 364 student beds.

In partnership with Star Asia Group, an independent investment management group in the field of Japanese real estate, GSA Star Asia KK was created to develop student accommodation to support the Japanese government’s growth strategy in higher education.

The partnership’s first development will open in 2018. Located in Hakusan 4-chome, in Tokyo’s district of Bunkyo-ku, the accommodation will consist of 364 student beds.

“Japanese students are ready for this new concept in student communal living”

The purpose-built accommodation, open to international and domestic students, will also have communal areas, including a lounge, study space and theatre room, which will, according to a company statement, “foster community and a collaborative environment for students.”

This project is “well located with its proximity to several premier universities”, said Taro Masuyama, Star Asia Group co-founder.

“[It] is an excellent example of Star Asia’s and GSA’s combined effort to build this unique purpose built student accommodation platform in Japan.”

Currently, around 80% of Tokyo’s university population rents through the private sector, and with student numbers growing, there is an increasing need to fulfil the demand of student accommodation in the city.

GSA Star Asia KK is a subsidiary of GSA Star Asia Japan, which was established as a partnership between both GSA and Star Asia Group, in order to help cater to this demand of student accommodation in the country.

In 2015, Japan welcomed 208,379 international students, an increase of 13% on the year before.

The country’s growth strategy includes a goal to attract 300,000 international students to the country by 2020.

“Japanese students are ready for this new concept in student communal living, built on high quality design and aimed at building a strong community of local and international students,” said Simon Loveridge, managing director – Asia Pacific of GSA.

“With Star Asia Group’s track record in Japan and our 25 years’ global experience in this sector, we are strongly positioned to build real scale across the Japanese market.”

GSA currently owns student accommodation across six countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, including Australia, Japan and the UK.

GSA has also partnered with real estate private equity firm, Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, to invest €250m in student accommodation in Ireland. One particular development on Mill Street is expected to open in September and will house 400 student beds.

Also due to open in September is another 491-strong student bed development in Kavanagh Court.

These developments are part of a goal to deliver 4,000 student beds in Dublin by 2020.

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