Starwood Capital Group (‘Starwood Capital’), a leading global private investment firm, today announced that a controlled affiliate has formed a new build-to-rent (‘BTR’) residential platform in Ireland with Urbeo Residential (‘Urbeo’) and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (‘ISIF’).

The platform – which will be known as Urbeo – will acquire, predominantly via forward purchase and forward funding arrangements, rental accommodation with an element of social and supported tenancies in Dublin and other major Irish cities. The platform will be seeded with a portfolio of 3 assets totalling 334 private and social units in Dublin, with a pipeline of over 2,500 units in negotiation or exclusivity.

Urbeo, founded by Frank Kenny and Bill Nowlan, is focused on matching investor needs for long-term, stable returns with those of tenants to build stable and sustainable communities of rental housing.

Urbeo will seek to partner with builders, developers, and housing associations to deliver new rental housing projects in well-serviced locations, with good connectivity to employment centres.

Starwood Capital has invested in more than 30 countries around the world, including across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and has extensive experience in multifamily real estate. Starwood Capital’s portfolio includes approximately 74,000 multifamily units under management.  It is one of the largest owners of market-rate multifamily housing in the United States with properties in Florida, Colorado, Washington D.C., Washington and California.  Starwood Capital will invest in this new platform through Starwood Global Opportunity Fund XI, the firm’s 11th opportunistic real estate fund, which closed in April 2018 with commitments surpassing $7.5 billion and noteworthy investments in multifamily real estate.

Commenting on the announcement Frank Kenny, Urbeo said:

“We are delighted to have partnered with Starwood Capital who bring their considerable financial resources and global expertise in the sector. We have identified a rich pipeline of assets to acquire, and expect to be busy in the coming months. Our expectation is to grow the fund into the preeminent PRS investment fund in the country in terms of scale, quality of delivery to tenants, and long term returns to investors.”

Matthew Parrott, Vice President, Starwood Capital said:

“We are excited to be partnering with Urbeo and ISIF to address the need for high quality and professionally managed rental accommodation in Dublin. The Irish multifamily sector, particularly in Dublin, provides our investors exposure to a market exhibiting a structural supply shortage and compelling growth prospects.”

Kieran Bristow, Head of Investment Strategy, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund said:

“ISIF is very pleased to partner with a lead investor of the calibre of Starwood Capital. Starwood Capital, ISIF and Urbeo believe that a long term, sustainable approach to tenancies will be critical to the success of this platform.  ISIF’s total investment of up to €60m, which includes its share of the Bancroft Tallaght property (one of the seed assets), has been central to the establishment of this new platform.” 

Goodbody Stockbrokers, A&L Goodbody, McCann Fitzgerald, William Fry and Sherry Fitzgerald advised on the transaction.