Linkcity, the property development company of Bouygues UK, has exchanged contracts with Canterbury City Council, Harrison Street and The Hyde Group to bring forward a the development on the 8.4-acre site of a former coach park and Serco depot in the Kingsmead area of Canterbury.
The Riverside will include more than 50,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and restaurant space, as well as 491 student residences and 189 affordable flats.
The student rooms will be owned under a 80/20 equity split between student housing operator Harrison Street and Uliving, Linkcity’s own student accommodation brand, which will also manage the student residences on completion. Debt financing has been provided by Lloyds for this element of the scheme.
Linkcity will manage the development of the retail and leisure space and student accommodation elements, which have a value of £70m. The 189 new affordable homes will be built in partnership with The Hyde Group. The scheme’s overall gross development value is £115m.
As main contractor, Bouygues UK plans to maximise offsite construction, using modular componentry.
With all agreements now in place, construction will begin imminently. The student residences and commercial elements are scheduled for completion in autumn 2021, with residents moving into the new homes in 2022.
Linkcity managing director Nicolas Guérin said: “The Riverside development will act as an extension to the city’s already established leisure quarter in Canterbury, offering an attractive daytime and evening offer, as well as purpose-built student accommodation and much-needed affordable homes. Significant work has gone on behind the scenes to get to this stage; we look forward to continuing to work with the council and, with all our partners on board, are excited to see this scheme come to life, regenerating a brownfield site into a real asset for the local community.”