Unite Students builds its first mixed use property in Edinburgh

Unite Students’ new 401-bed property in Edinburgh will be a mix of student and private residential – the first of its kind for the UK’s largest provider of student accommodation.

Burnet Point will include purpose-built student accommodation, build-to-rent (BTR) and affordable apartments.

The city centre development, which has total development costs of £59million, will also be Unite Students’ lowest carbon new-build and will use low-carbon concrete and timber composite, an environmentally friendly alternative to natural wood. Its life cycle assessment is currently 702 kgCO2e/m2 (carbon emission equivalent per square metre), the lowest in the Group’s new-build portfolio.

As part of the development, Unite Students will provide a dedicated community space. It will work with local charities and community groups to find a partner over the next few months.

Burnet Point is set to be completed in September next year, ready for the start of the 2025/26 academic year. In total, it will have 298 student beds and 49 private-rented residential apartments. A total of 17 affordable residential apartments will be provided through housing association, Hillcrest Homes.

This development further extends Unite Students’ BTR pilot, which began in 2022 when it acquired 180 Stratford, in Stratford, London.

Tom Brewerton, Group Development Director at Unite Students, said:

“This is the company’s first combined development of purpose-built student accommodation, build-to-rent and affordable housing. We look forward to contributing positively to the student and private rental market in Edinburgh to help address the supply-demand imbalance in the city. This development reflects Unite Students’ ongoing commitment to provide high-standard, affordable student accommodation in locations where demand is greatest.

“We are excited to build our lowest carbon new-build property to date in our portfolio. The development will also contribute to the regeneration of the local area, which has seen significant investment in recent years. We are working closely with the community and later this year will offer a dedicated space for use by a local charity which is aligned with our purpose of creating a Home for Success.”