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U-World plans €120M investment in student accommodation
04 July 2019 | Ana Tavares

U-World intends to invest 120 million euro in Portugal until 2022 with the construction of student residences in Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra and Porto.

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The company specialised in student accommodation is betting on Portuguese and foreign students and on the markets’ middle segment. At the moment, the company is developing a new U-Loft Braga, a new construction near the Minho University Gualtar campus, which should cost 20 million euro.

Paulo Ribeiro, U-World’s CEO, explains in an interview to VI that this unit will have 230 apartments from studios to 4 bedroom apartments, with a starting price between 250 and 300 euro per month, which includes water, electricity, weekly cleaning, access to the gym and mentoring and tutoring services: «our main differentiation is connected to our services through which we offer support to the residents during their adaptation to a new life outside the family home comfort zone and by helping them prepare for the job market».

U-World will be the investment’s developer, assuming the acquisition of the terrains and the projects’ production, «inviting, at a later stage other investors to acquire fractions of the unit while offering them a guaranteed return», explains Paulo Ribeiro.

Aveiro, Coimbra and Porto to follow

Projects in Aveiro, Coimbra and Porto should start at the same time, areas that «conjugate opportunities adjusted to our projects, due to our focus on the national students and the Portuguese families, which means that there is a higher concern when it comes to establishing the cost of accommodation». And that is why «Lisbon is, for now, more distant, but in the future, you never know», admits Paulo Ribeiro.

Each city should have, during the first stage, two residences, with the exception of Porto, which may have a total of four residences, all between 8.000 and 15.000 sqm, with a capacity for 250 to 600 residents.

«Student residences, unlike other real estate assets, are particularly resistant to the fluctuations of economic cycles, which gives them a robustness highly appreciated by banks, funds and private equities», says Paulo Ribeiro.