A London-based developer says it plans to spend $1 billion to develop privately run student housing in Boston that could accommodate several thousand college students.
The company, Scape, announced in a news release that it has chosen Boston as the site of its U.S. headquarters and has set a goal of constructing housing for 20,000 students throughout the United States. In Boston, Scape says it will invest $1 billion over the next five years.
"We are thrilled to be in Boston, amongst the world's best academic and research institutions and brightest students," says Nigel Taee, founder and global executive chairman of Scape. "There is a tremendous need for student housing in Boston as identified in the city's Imagine Boston 2030 plan, and Scape intends to move the needle toward achieving the city's stated objectives in the plan."
The city of Boston has identified a need for 69,000 units of housing, 16,000 new undergraduate beds and 3,000 graduate beds by 2030. City officials say students who attend college in Boston and want off-campus housing have exerted enormous pressure on the housing market and driven up rental costs.
"There is a tremendous need for affordable and student housing in Boston as outlined in the recent announcement to increase our housing goals in Housing Boston 2030," says Sheila Dillon, the T
The Boston Globe reports that in London, Scape operates five buildings for college students. Instead of on-campus housing linked to a single school, Scape’s buildings are open to students of any nearby school.
The company also operates student apartments in Australia and Ireland.
Scape ultimately plans at least five buildings in the Boston region.
Increasingly, universities in Boston have partnered with private-sector developers to build housing — including two buildings at Northeastern University and the first residence halls at the University of Massachusetts Boston.