Curated Living Solutions, an alternative housing company backed by Bangalore-based real estate entity DivyaSree Developers Group, has acquired a student housing asset in Durgapur, marking the first such transaction in Bengal in this segment.
Spread over a 1.5-acre plot and 100,000 square feet of built-up space, the student housing previously belonged to NSHM Academy. It can accommodate 766 students at present with the scope to expand another 500-600 beds. CLSPL will now own, manage and operate the student housing.
The company has 10,000 beds in three verticals of alternative housing — student, co-living and industrial housing — and it plans to reach 25,000 beds in 2-3 years, Jai Kishan Challa, founder & CEO of CLSPL, told this newspaper.
Part of the plan includes creating a portfolio of 5,000-6,000 beds in the east.
“We are looking at co-living housing for young IT professionals, who are single, in the Salt Lake /Rajarhat area. We believe there is a ready market for it,” Challa added.
There are a couple of more deals in the pipeline in the student housing segment
in the Durgapur region itself but the CEO declined to provide details citing a non-disclosure agreement with the interested party.
While the NSHM deal was an asset acquisition, CLSPL maintains a 1:1 ratio of owned and managed assets. “We are primarily a manager and operator of alternative housing, which is a specialised and emerging segment within real estate. We plan to grow both by greenfield development and acquisitions, off and on campus,” Challa added.
The company initially enters a new market with leased property, gains experience and then looks at acquiring assets.
CLSPL also operates industrial housing, especially for blue collared workers, inside and outside factory premises. However, it seeks long-term underwriting from manufacturing units for occupancy if it builds/owns the housing.
The Durgapur deal, which is valued at around Rs 27 crore according to market sources, gave an exit to NSHM which intends to focus on education, which is its core area of operation.
“Partnering with CLSPL to take care of the hostel accommodation requirements was an obvious choice considering their expertise and focus on this activity. This would allow NSHM to concentrate on core academics,” Dileep Singh Mehta, chairman trustee, NSHM Academy, said.
Surekha Bihani, senior MD (east & emerging markets — India) of JLL, who brokered the deal, pointed out that the transaction highlights the immense potential within the student housing segment. “With 12 million students in need of hostel facilities and a supply-demand gap of over 6 million beds, we anticipate a continuous increase in demand,” Bihani added.