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Balfour bags £85m Urbanest student halls deal

Balfour Beatty has won an £85m contract to build a mixed-use student accommodation development for Urbanest.

The City of London scheme features four separate buildings, three of which will contain student accommodation with a total of 654 beds.

Students will be housed in a 14-storey building that faces onto Vine Street, a six-storey building adjacent to Crosswall, and a 12-storey building that faces Crutched Friars.

The development also encompasses a 12-storey office building to be constructed to the north of the student halls on India Street.

Across the whole site is a two-storey basement that contains the exposed remains of the Roman city wall and bastion.

This will be turned into gallery that can be accessed by the public as well as the building’s users.

Urbanest and Balfour Beatty signed a preconstruction services agreement in October 2017. Full work is planned to start this year, with completion expected in 2021.

Balfour Beatty’s UK construction services chief executive Dean Banks attributed the firm’s selection to its ability “to operate in a confined city centre location [and] to transform an historic site”.

The contractor said it would employ more than 250 people at the peak of construction, including 10 apprenticeships and five graduates.

Urbanest opened a 454-unit student accommodation development in Vauxhall during the summer, which had also been delivered by Balfour under a £42m deal.

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