GMI starts work on in-demand York Student Accommodation


Honor Wilson Head of Marketing & Communications

GMI Construction Group has begun work on a 303-bed student accommodation in James Street, York.

It was awarded the £22m contract to construct the building after York-based S Harrison Developments secured planning consent for student use in 2022. The project has commenced after a forward funding deal was agreed by the developer with Singapore-based Q Investment Partners (QIP).

Due for completion in spring 2025, it is hoped the development will help address the shortage of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in the city.

Following analysis of the rental markets of the top 50 UK universities it was reported in February that York had the highest demand for PBSA in the country.  Located just off Lawrence Street, it lies close to both the University of York and York St John University.

The four-storey building will comprise 108 individual studio rooms alongside 195 cluster bedrooms with shared living and dining rooms.

The ground floor student amenity space consists of a cinema, shared working space, gym, laundry room and reception/common room area. External works include parking spaces and a cycle store.

Designed by CSP Architects of York, it includes landscaped areas, including a pocket park on the south east corner of the site. A strip of land along James Street will be adopted as highway, allowing the creation of a 3.5-metre-wide shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.

The site was previously home to an accident repair centre operated by Alton Cars, which has since moved to larger 22,000 sq. ft premises at The Airfield Industrial Estate, Elvington.

Once completed, the development will then be operated by the Prestige Student Living brand of Homes for Students with the first students moving in for the start of the 2025 academic year.

Andrew Hurcomb, GMI’s Divisional Managing Director, Yorkshire, said: “GMI has a strong track record of delivering student accommodation across the North of England and the Midlands.

“The James Street development is in an ideal location given its within walking distance of two universities and will help York confirm its position as a top study destination by expanding the range of quality facilities available for students.”

Martyn Harrison, from S Harrison, said: “We have been headquartered in York for over 70 years and have successfully designed and delivered many successful PBSA schemes in York, Leeds and Edinburgh in recent years, totalling thousands of bedrooms.

“Our ability to create exceptional developments in highly sought after locations means we have strong relationships with many leading PBSA and institutional investors, both in the UK and globally, and we’re very pleased to agree our first deal with QIP.

“High quality PBSA is in real demand in York, especially for schemes like this one, which is so close to both the University of York and York St John University. When this is combined with our local knowledge and QIP’s experience in the sector, there’s no doubt this development will prove to be very popular with the city’s student population.”