US private equity group Carlyle has agreed plans for the construction of £350m-worth of student accommodation in north London.
It has acquired a site next to Finsbury Park station in Islington, and is seeking planning permission for a further three sites which would give the firm a total portfolio of 1,850 beds.
The first development is for a 400-bed scheme. Demolition will start next month, with completion expected for the 2012 academic year.
Carlyle wants all four sites to become operational by September 2013.
The private equity firm will provide funding for the developments, while delivery will be carried out in a joint venture with student accommodation specialist Generation Estates, called City Living.
Carlyle has longer-term plans to build a portfolio of at least 4,000 beds in London.
There are more than 260,000 full-time students in the capital, 90,000 of them from overseas, but enough purpose-built accommodation for only 16% of these. Private equity firms see the market as offering secure, long-term revenue.