Say hello to Villeneuve-d’Ascq!

Situated in the Hauts-de-France region and part of the bustling Lille metropolitan area, Villeneuve-d’Ascq offers a fantastic blend of cutting-edge tech parks, expansive green spaces, and a vibrant arts and sports scene. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy.

First, let’s take a look at the 5 most popular areas along with the best things to do in Villeneuve-d’Ascq! 


1. Annappes

Things to do in Villeneuve-d’Ascq

Annappes is one of the oldest districts in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, offering a charming blend of historic charm and close-knit community life. It has a traditional market square and frequent local festivals, making it a lively area to explore.

  • Visit the Marché d’Annappes: Experience the local culture at the bustling Marché d’Annappes held in the historic town square. You can find fresh produce, local delicacies, and handmade crafts.
  • Explore Local Cafés and Boutiques: Spend a leisurely day exploring quaint cafés and boutiques that line the charming streets of Annappes. These small businesses offer a variety of local goods and cozy spots to relax. Here are some recommendations:

                  – Café de la Place: An intimate café perfect for a morning coffee or pastry.

                  – La Petite Boutique: A quirky shop with handcrafted goods and local souvenirs.

                  – Le Petit Comptoir: A charming bistro that serves top-notch local cuisine.

  • Attend a Festival at Place de la République: Join one of the many festivals in this central square throughout the year. These events are a great way to experience local culture and community spirit.


2. Flers

Things to do in Villeneuve-d’Ascq

Flers is a predominantly residential area known for its historical sites and serene green spaces. It offers a peaceful setting, plus a beautifully restored historic castle that is definitely worth a visit. 

  • Tour the Château de Flers: Immerse yourself in the history and architecture of this beautifully restored castle and its scenic park. Guided tours are available, offering a deep dive into the château’s fascinating past.
  • Relax in Parc du Château de Flers: Take a peaceful stroll or enjoy a picnic in the expansive grounds surrounding the château. The park is ideal for a leisurely day spent wandering in nature.
  • Visit the Galerie d’Art de Flers: Explore a diverse range of artworks, including contemporary paintings, sculptures, and photography, all by local artists. The gallery regularly hosts exhibitions that highlight the evolving art scene of Villeneuve-d’Ascq, providing a glimpse into the area’s creative talent.


3. Ascq

Things to do in Villeneuve-d’Ascq

Ascq is a district that blends its profound historical significance with a strong sense of community and resilience. Particularly known for its important memorial sites, Ascq offers through-provoking tributes and monuments within its charming village setting. 

  • Ascq Memorial Museum: Pay respects and learn about the local history at the museum dedicated to the victims of the Ascq massacre. This museum provides an in-depth look at the events of World War II and their impact on the surrounding community.
  • Stroll Through the Historic Village: Walk through the old village of Ascq, enjoying its beautifully preserved architecture and calming atmosphere. 
  • Participate in the Commemoration Events: Join the annual events that commemorate the village’s history and community resilience. These events are a meaningful way to connect with the local culture and history.


4. Haute-Borne

Things to do in Villeneuve-d’Ascq

Haute-Borne is known as an economic hub, housing many technology companies and startups. It is a busier and more modern area, with a focus on innovation and education.

  • Visit the Science and Technology Park: Engage with cutting-edge innovations and educational exhibits in this hub of technological development. The park is home to numerous tech companies and research institutions.
  • Network at a Startup Event: Attend one of the many conferences or workshops aimed at fostering innovation and business growth. These events are great opportunities to connect with entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
  • Enjoy Modern Dining: Try out some contemporary cuisine at the trendy restaurants in Haute-Borne. The area offers a variety of dining options that reflect its innovative, young vibe.


5. Pont-de-Bois

Pont-de-Bois is known for its educational institutions and exciting student life! Home to the University of Lille, it is an engaging area filled with many academic and cultural activities.

  • Explore the University of Lille Campus: Take a tour of the campus, brimming with vibrant student life and gorgeous architecture. 
  • Attend a University Lecture or Event: Check out a public lecture, exhibition, or performance! The university regularly offers events that are open to the public and cover a wide range of topics.
  • Visit the Forum des Sciences: Ideal for families, this science museum offers interactive exhibits on various topics including astronomy, biology, and technology. 


Cultural and Recreational Activities

In addition to its distinct neighborhoods and key attractions, Villeneuve-d’Ascq boasts a fantastic cultural and recreational scene. The city hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and dance to food and art. 

Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the numerous parks and green spaces, such as Parc du Héron and Lac du Héron, which offer opportunities for hiking, cycling, and water sports. For those interested in live sports, the Stadium Lille Métropole regularly hosts football matches and athletic events. The diverse Villeneuve-d’Ascq region truly offers something for everyone, no matter your interests or what activities you’re looking to enjoy.


Photo Credits:

  • All photos used through the Canva Free Media License






















Looking for a place in Lille?

Check out our coliving spaces located throughout the city!




You only need your toothbrush!

Our rentals come fully furnished & equipped, plus wifi, cleaning and flexible leases.




Find your ideal living space

We offer everything from cozy shared rentals to expansive private studios.

As cities grow and environmental challenges intensify, Urban Campus is at the forefront of integrating innovative solutions for sustainable urban living. The Passivhaus Standard, a cornerstone of energy-efficient construction, currently guides the construction of our newest Cuatro Caminos II, Madrid Coliving Space. 

The Passivhaus Standard dramatically reduces a building’s ecological footprint by optimizing energy use. Plus, it simultaneously enhances tenant comfort with carefully developed design criteria. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what it encompasses. 


What is the Passivhaus Standard?

All About the Passivhaus Standard 1

The Passivhaus Standard exemplifies energy efficiency in modern construction, establishing a rigorous benchmark that drastically reduces the ecological footprint of buildings. Its core principles ensure a radical decrease in energy needs for heating and cooling, along with a host of other benefits that promote sustainable living:

  • Exceptional Energy Efficiency: The standard promises to reduce heating and cooling demands by up to 90% compared to conventional buildings. This is achieved through sophisticated design and engineering that optimizes the building’s performance.
  • Super Insulation: Building envelopes are wrapped in thick layers of high-performance insulation, which minimize heat loss during winter and keep the interior cool during summer.
  • Air-tightness: Buildings are designed to be nearly air-tight, preventing uncontrolled air leakage. This control is crucial for maintaining energy efficiency and interior comfort.
  • High-performance Windows: Utilizing triple-pane windows with insulated frames helps to trap heat during colder months and reflect heat during warmer months, maintaining consistent interior temperatures.
  • Ventilation with Heat Recovery: A mechanical ventilation system is crucial in Passivhaus buildings. It delivers fresh air while recovering heat from exhaust air, maintaining good air quality without letting heat escape.
  • Minimal Energy Losses: The meticulous attention to insulation and air-tightness leads to minimal energy loss, a fundamental aspect of the Passivhaus approach. This ensures that little energy is wasted, and the building’s carbon footprint is significantly reduced.
  • Enhanced Comfort and Air Quality: The combination of continuous fresh air supply, consistent indoor temperatures, and reduced drafts contributes to a superior indoor environment. Tenants enjoy high levels of excellent air quality, which are significant for health and well-being.


The Origins of the Passivhaus Standard

All About the Passivhaus Standard 2

The Passivhaus Standard traces back to a collaborative research project between Professors Bo Adamson of Sweden and Wolfgang Feist of Germany in the late 1980s. Recognizing the need for buildings that could maintain energy efficiency and comfort without relying heavily on active heating and cooling systems, they embarked on developing a set of principles that would radically reduce energy consumption in buildings.

The first Passivhaus residences were built in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1991. These prototype buildings demonstrated that it was possible to dramatically cut energy costs by focusing on the building’s envelope and passive solar heating techniques. The success of these initial projects led to the formal establishment of the Passivhaus Institute in 1996. Now, the institute serves as the hub for research, development, and certification of Passivhaus standards globally.

Key milestones in the development of the Passivhaus Standard include:

  • 1990s: Refinement of the standard and the spread of the concept across Germany and other parts of Europe.
  • 2000s: Expansion of the standard internationally, proving the standard’s adaptability to different climates and cultures.
  • 2010s: Increased focus on retrofitting existing buildings to meet Passivhaus standards and integration with other sustainable building certifications.


Certification Pathway: Attaining Passivhaus Status

All About the Passivhaus Standard 3

Achieving Passivhaus certification is a rigorous process that demands strict adherence to specific performance requirements. This certification not only underscores ultra-low energy usage for heating and cooling but also covers the building’s overall primary energy consumption. Key elements scrutinized during the certification process include:

  • Thermal Insulation: The building must be equipped with top-grade insulation that significantly reduces heat transfer. This includes all aspects of the building envelope – from walls and floors to roofs and exterior doors.
  • High-Performance Windows: Windows must have high insulation levels and be properly installed to prevent thermal bridging and leakage. This is crucial for maintaining consistent internal temperatures.
  • Ventilation System: A mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery is essential. This system ensures that fresh air is continuously supplied and stale air is expelled, all while retaining most of the temperature of the indoor air.
  • Construction Quality: The integrity of the building construction must meet high standards to ensure that all components work together effectively. This involves meticulous attention to detail to eliminate any thermal bridges and air leakage points.

Is the Passivhaus Standard Difficult to Attain?

Although the criteria are demanding, achieving Passivhaus certification is feasible with precise planning and execution. Success depends largely on: 

  • Meticulous Design: Every aspect of the building design must be carefully planned to meet energy efficiency targets.
  • Quality of Execution: The construction must accurately follow the planned specifications to ensure integrity and high performance.
  • Testing and Validation: Throughout the construction process, various tests, including air tightness tests, are necessary to validate that the building meets the required standards.

For our Urban Campus coliving spaces, aligning with the Passivhaus Standard not only contributes to environmental conservation but also ensures the creation of future-proof, energy-efficient living spaces.


Passivhaus in Spain

In Spain, the adoption of the Passivhaus standard has been gaining momentum. This is particularly important as the country faces increasing energy costs and a growing recognition of sustainable construction benefits. A few key developments include:

  • Regulatory Support: Various regional governments have begun to encourage Passivhaus designs by offering incentives for energy-efficient construction.
  • Educational and Awareness Efforts: Institutions and non-profit organizations across Spain have been pivotal in promoting the Passivhaus standard through educational programs and public awareness campaigns. These efforts have increased the expertise available in the country and have fostered a growing community of certified Passivhaus designers and consultants.

Passivhaus projects in Spain have demonstrated significant energy savings and enhanced comfort for tenants, driving interest among developers, architects, and homeowners alike. As Spain continues to embrace these sustainable building practices, the impact of Passivhaus is expected to grow. The hope is that the broader construction industry is influenced towards more environmentally friendly and efficient standards.


Urban Campus & Passivhaus 

Urban Campus is proud that our Cuatro Caminos II, Madrid Coliving will be our pioneering Passivhaus project in Spain. This new residence is located adjacent to our original Cuatro Caminos Coliving Space. With an emphasis on sustainability, this greenfield project is being constructed with locally sourced materials and is designed to be completely carbon neutral.

Key Features of Cuatro Caminos II:

  • Location and Size: Spans 1,825 square meters with a total of 32 total units.
  • Wooden Structural Framework: The first coliving space in Spain to be built with a wooden structural framework.
  • Carbon-Neutral: Residual Co2 emissions are completely offset through the acquisition of certified carbon credits.
  • Passivhaus Certification: Built to meet rigorous energy efficiency standards.
  • Coworking Zones and Fitness Facilities: Shared spaces designed to support work, collaboration and wellness.
  • Common Kitchen and Interior Courtyard: Shared spaces that encourage community engagement and relationship               building.
  • Multiple Terraces and Bicycle Parking: Plenty of outdoor access and eco-friendly transportation options.


Our Commitment to Sustainability 

Urban Campus is deeply committed to pioneering sustainable urban living. Our focus extends beyond building efficient structures; we strive to create communities that foster environmental awareness and action. By integrating advanced sustainable criterias like the Passivhaus and BREEAM into our spaces, we work to not only support the environment but also enhance the quality of life for our tenants.


Photo Credits: 

  • All photos used through the Canva Free Media License





























Looking for a place in Madrid?

Check out our coliving spaces located all throughout the city!




You only need your toothbrush!

Our rentals come fully furnished and equipped, plus wifi, cleaning and flexible leases.




Find your ideal living space

We offer everything from cozy private rooms to expansive apartments.

Affordable Housing Solutions in France

France’s housing market is facing serious challenges, with rising costs and a limited supply of suitable housing options. As property prices and living expenses continue to climb, there’s a rapidly growing need for affordable housing solutions.

At Urban Campus, we’ve seen these issues firsthand and are committed to being part of the solution. Our background in creating community-focused living spaces has driven us to develop housing solutions that are affordable and holistically improve the lives of urban residents.

Let’s take a closer look at how our new affordable housing solutions will help to create a more balanced and inclusive market in France.


The State of Affordable Housing in France

Affordable Housing Solutions in France: Urban Campus’ Newest Initiatives 2

First, let’s take a look at the current housing situation in France.

  • High Costs and Limited Supply: Persistent issues of high costs and limited housing availability, particularly in urban areas, continue to strain the French housing market.
  • Interest Rate Spike in 2022: The affordability crisis was exacerbated when interest rates sharply increased in 2022, putting additional pressure on potential homeowners and renters.
  • Rising Homelessness: Over 330,000 individuals in France are homeless as of 2021, a significant increase from 143,000 in 2012, highlighting the growing severity of the housing crisis.
  • Widespread Poverty: More than 9 million people lived below the poverty line in 2021, demonstrating widespread economic challenges.
  • Social Housing Backlog: Approximately 2.4 million households are on the waiting list for social housing, yet only 3% of these applicants are deemed eligible due to stringent criteria.


What is Intermediate Rental Housing?

Affordable Housing Solutions in France: Urban Campus’ Newest Initiatives 1

Intermediate rental housing, or “logement locatif intermédiaire” is a housing model that emerged as a response to the growing divide in the housing market. It aims to serve a demographic that falls between the typical beneficiaries of social housing and those who can comfortably afford market rates. This segment includes middle-income earners, often referred to as the “missing middle,” who earn too much to qualify for social housing but not enough to compete in the increasingly expensive private rental sector. 

In many European countries, including France, the concept of Intermediate rental housing has been developed to address this gap. It’s more than just a temporary solution; it’s a strategic way to offer more housing choices and promote social integration. By offering rents that are approximately 10-15% below the market rate, IRH makes living in urban centers more accessible to those who might otherwise be priced out of these areas.

Intermediate Rental Housing in France

In recent years, the importance of IRH in France has become increasingly recognized amidst escalating housing prices and urban gentrification. The French government and private developers have both taken steps to promote this type of housing:

  • Legislative Support: Various legislative measures have been introduced to encourage the development of IRH. These include tax incentives for developers and simplified zoning laws to expedite the construction process.
  • Local Initiatives: Some regions and cities have implemented local initiatives to incorporate IRH into their urban planning strategies. For example, cities like Paris have allocated specific quotas of new developments to be designated as intermediate rental housing.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: There has been an increase in partnerships between public entities and private developers to fund and manage IRH projects. 
  • Market Response: The market has responded positively to IRH, with a growing number of developers recognizing the potential for stable returns on investment through socially responsible development practices.


Urban Campus’ Role in Pioneering Affordable Housing Solutions

Affordable Housing Solutions in France: Urban Campus’ Newest Initiatives 5

At Urban Campus, we have recognized the pressing need for affordable housing solutions and have positioned ourselves at the forefront of addressing this challenge. Our approach involves more than merely providing housing; it’s about creating vibrant, sustainable communities that holistically enhance the lives of their residents.

Innovative Housing Projects and Community Integration

Our projects integrate affordable housing with high-quality living environments, specifically designed to meet the dynamic needs of modern urban dwellers. By developing managed intermediate housing and service-oriented residences, we cater to a broad spectrum of the population who seek both affordability and quality. Romain Crépel, our Director of Urban Campus in France, emphasized this strategy, stating, “Our mission is not only to provide a roof but also to create environments where people can truly live well and connect with others.”

Tailored Living Solutions

Each Urban Campus residence is meticulously designed to promote flexibility and a sense of community. Our residences feature shared coworking spaces, which cater to the growing number of remote workers and freelancers looking for a productive and collaborative work environment outside of a traditional office. Fitness centers and communal kitchens are also standard, providing spaces where residents can take care of their health and share meals, fostering strong communal bonds.

Cost-Effective Community Living

These shared amenities are more than just conveniences; they represent a fundamental shift towards a shared economy in housing. By pooling resources, our residents can enjoy higher-quality facilities at a lower cost than they would manage individually. “The integration of these communal spaces is key to reducing living costs while enhancing the quality of life,” Romain noted in a recent interview. “It’s about smart living where costs are shared, and every square meter is optimized for maximum utility and comfort.”

Sustainable and Socially Responsible Approaches

Sustainability is at the core of our operations at Urban Campus. We believe in building not just for today, but for the future. Our designs incorporate eco-friendly materials and technologies, reducing the environmental impact of our buildings and promoting long-term sustainability. Moreover, by fostering socially integrated communities, we are actively contributing to the social fabric of the cities we operate in. As Romain notes, “Urban Campus is not just about building homes, it’s about crafting ecosystems that thrive on mutual support and collective well-being.”


The Growth and Expansion of Urban Campus

As Urban Campus continues to grow, we are proud to build upon our successful operations in coliving, now expanding our horizons into multifamily units, flex living, and affordable housing initiatives. Our journey began with revolutionizing coliving spaces, where we crafted communities centered around shared experiences and mutual respect. Today, we are taking that expertise and applying it to a broader range of housing solutions, each designed to meet diverse needs and lifestyles while upholding our commitment to social responsibility.

Our expansion is driven by a vision where everyone has access to affordable, quality housing that enhances community and personal well-being. We are dedicated to innovating in ways that respect both the environment and the communities we serve, ensuring that as we grow, we also uphold high standards of social responsibility. This commitment is not just a part of our business model; it’s at the heart of every project we undertake, guiding us to make a meaningful impact in the cities we touch. 

Read more about our Affordable Housing Solutions in France


Photo Credits: 

  • Photos 1 & 2 used through Canva Free Media License






















Looking for a place in Lille?

Check out our coliving spaces located throughout the city!




You only need your toothbrush!

Our rentals come fully furnished & equipped, plus wifi, cleaning and flexible leases.




Find your ideal living space

We offer everything from cozy shared rentals to expansive private studios.

Urban Campus is rapidly expanding their portfolio of innovative housing solutions. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of urban development, Urban Campus has emerged as a pivotal force. The company is fundamentally transforming the essence of city living. Founded in 2016, Urban Campus has established itself as more than just a housing provider. It is a community builder, crafting coliving spaces that foster connection and growth among young professionals across France and Spain.

Maxime Armand, Urban Campus COO and Co-Founder, recently sat down with Le Figaro to illuminate this journey. He spotlights how Urban Campus’s unique approach—merging private units with state-of-the-art common spaces—has not only redefined residential living but has also catered to the modern needs for flexibility and social integration. This model has proven successful, challenging traditional living arrangements and responding to the growing trend of remote work and urban isolation.


More than just Coliving

innovative housing solutions

However, Urban Campus’s operations are extending beyond coliving. Throughout 2024, the company is set to triple its portfolio. In addition to coliving, they will be introducing multifamily complexes and LLI affordable housing. In this way, Urban Campus is quickly broadening its reach to encompass multi-generational residents. This expansion is rooted in the company’s unwavering pillars of affordability, quality, and community spirit, aiming to make urban living accessible and enriching for a wider demographic.


The Foundation of Urban Campus

Must Do's if you Live in Lille, France

The foundation of Urban Campus is built on addressing the challenges of high living costs, social isolation, and the absence of a supportive community in cities. By blending private and shared spaces, Urban Campus has created environments where individuals can thrive personally and collectively. They promote a lifestyle that values mutual support and shared experiences.

As urban landscapes continue to evolve, Urban Campus is not merely adapting but leading the change. They are focused on ensuring this growth encompasses inclusivity and sustainability. The companies exisiting residencies are testaments to the transformative power of innovative housing solutions. With each new opening, Urban Campus proves that cities can indeed become places of rich community and inclusivity.


The Way of the Future

innovative housing solutions

Through continued expansion and commitment to addressing the diverse needs of urban dwellers, Urban Campus stands as a model for future urban living solutions. Maxime Armand’s insights from the Le Figaro interview not only highlight the company’s past achievements but also pave the way for its future endeavors. They continue to focus on creating vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive urban environments for everyone to enjoy.

Keep an eye on Urban Campus as we proudly expand our portfolio. From our new Avenida America, Madrid Coliving to our novel La Maillerie, Lille Coliving coming in the summer of 2024, we’re not just growing — we’re evolving. Our strides into multifamily and affordable housing further showcase our commitment to diverse, quality urban living. We’re not just building spaces; we’re creating the future of city living. Stay connected for more developments!


Watch the full interview…HERE!

March 1, 2024

Read the full article HERE.

  • The 2024 finance law in France signifies a paradigm shift by focusing on affordable housing, creating a legislative framework that benefits both citizens and investors while fostering social inclusion.
  • Urban Campus is actively involved in shaping policies to ensure access to affordable and sustainable housing, offering services and rentals at fixed prices.
  • The French initiative could serve as a model for Spain, suggesting a collaboration between the public and private sectors to solve the housing crisis.


Progress in the Affordable Housing Sector in France

The future of urban living and affordable housing

Ana Martínez, the Chief Operations Officer for Iberia at Urban Campus, discusses the impact of the new housing law in France, highlighting how this legislation brings significant changes to the sector by emphasizing affordable housing and social inclusion. The law benefits not just French citizens but also investors committed to the affordable housing sector.

Urban Campus plays a significant role in this transformation, working with lawmakers to develop policies that not only facilitate housing access but also promote sustainability. By adopting an approach focused on shared economy, Urban Campus is redefining the concept of urban community through projects that offer included services such as Wi-Fi, gyms, and coworking areas. These are also part of their “Build to Rent” schemes, located in places such as Colombes and Le Bourget.


Affordable Housing in Spain

The future of urban living and affordable housing

This approach contrasts with the situation in Spain, where despite efforts, there is still room for improvement in collaboration between the public and private sectors to address the housing crisis. The French legislation could inspire new legislation in Spain, promoting a collaborative model that benefits all involved parties.

Urban Campus’s strategy, aligned with ESG principles, proposes eco-friendly buildings and housing that not only meet current needs but also set a standard for the future of urban housing. This combined with their sharp insight towards the ever-changing needs of urban dwellers is marking a new paradigm in the European real estate sector.

Want to read more about Urban Campus? 

The concept of Build to Rent (BTR) real estate is reshaping the traditional housing model. Build to Rent focuses on creating properties for renting rather than individual ownership. This shift in the real estate market is quickly gaining traction worldwide, with growing interest from European investors and developers. 


What is Build to Rent real estate?

Build to Rent: What is it and how does it work?

Quite simply, Build to Rent focuses on creating properties designed for renting, rather than selling to individual owners. It is a modern real estate development approach that is growing in popularity. The model has gained significant momentum particularly in the face of escalating housing prices and the challenge of homeownership. 

Build to Rent real estate has several key features that set it apart from traditional housing models. Typically, a single entity owns a BTR community or building, usually an institutional investor or a real estate company. Professional property management is also a cornerstone of the BTR approach, which translates into consistent maintenance, services, and amenities for residents.

BTR properties often have a range of community spaces such as gyms and communal spaces. These features enhance the overall quality of life for tenants and make these properties more attractive to potential renters. Lastly, the Build to Rent model adopts a long-term investment perspective. It focuses on generating consistent rental income over time rather than pursuing quick profits through property flipping. 


Why is Build to Rent a growing trend? 

Build to Rent: What is it and how does it work? 5

Build to Rent real estate has surged in popularity due to a variety of economic and societal factors. Firstly, the steep rise in home prices has made buying a home increasingly difficult. This has particularly affected younger generations.

Renting also provides greater flexibility, which is increasingly appealing in our rapidly changing world. This flexibility allows individuals to adapt to evolving job opportunities and lifestyle choices without the commitments and financial burdens of homeownership.

Build to Rent communities and amenity-rich environments also align with modern lifestyle preferences, making it an attractive housing option. More so, urbanization has intensified the demand for rental properties in city centers, further fueling the growth of BTR communities.


Build to Rent in Spain 

Wifi, cleaning & utilities included...plus so much more! 2

The surge of Build to Rent properties in Spain is closely related to the circumstances of younger generations. Many young people prefer access to rented flats over the challenges of buying their own home. However, these preferences are also extending to families who are grappling with the high prices of the housing market in Spain.

Major Spanish cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia have emerged as hotspots for BTR development, drawing significant investor interest. The current scarcity of available rental housing in the Spain is further fueling the growth of BTR.


Build to Rent in France 

Build to Rent: What is it and how does it work? 1

In France, the Build to Rent real estate sector is also experiencing notable growth. The BTR market in France is more niche than in Spain, however it is garnering more attention and investment every year.

The BTR sector in France attracted approximately €7.5 billion in investments from 2017 to 2022. There is a burgeoning interest in fortifying the French construction sector, which has contributed to the surge in BTR development. This trend reflects an evolving real estate landscape in France, as developers and investors recognize the potential in purposeful rental properties. As in Spain, this BTR growth also aligns with the fluctuating housing supply and changing personal preferences of the French population.


Invest in Build to Rent 

Build to Rent: What is it and how does it work? 3

In terms of real estate investing, lower vacancy rates are a key benefit of BTR real estate. BTR properties are thoughtfully designed to cater to a diverse tenant base, promoting longer tenant stays and higher retention rates. These long-term lease agreements provide not only financial stability but also increased predictability for investors.

Additionally, BTR investments typically offer investors reduced maintenance complexities. The modern construction of BTR properties minimizes the need for frequent repairs and replacements. This both lowers maintenance costs and also enhances tenant satisfaction. 

Overall, BTR investments align perfectly with the evolving demands of the growing rental markets, reflecting changing demographics and contemporary lifestyle choices. Properties cater to a range of tenants, from millennials postponing homeownership to young families seeking quality amenities. These diverse tenant profiles contribute to the appeal of BTR investments, with a broad tenant base enhancing overall investment stability.


Build to Rent vs. Coliving 

Build to Rent: What is it and how does it work? 7

Coliving focuses on shared housing models, where multiple individuals reside together in a single property. Coliving seeks to foster a sense of community and social interaction among its residents. While BTR emphasizes private living spaces, coliving promotes shared accommodations, encouraging residents to share not only common areas but also experiences. 

Coliving properties appeal more to a younger and more transient demographic seeking a social living environment. Generally, Build to Rent offers private, long-term rental homes with professional management, whereas coliving promotes shared living and community experiences in a more flexible and cost-effective manner.


Build to Rent & Urban Campus 

Build to Rent: What is it and how does it work?

Urban Campus has entered the dynamic realm of Build to Rent and is embarking on several exciting ventures. In collaboration with key investors, they are harnessing the full spectrum of advantages that Build to Rent offers.

Urban Campus in Saint-Louis

Urban Campus is partnering with Nexity to introduce a BTR venture in Saint-Louis. Saint-Louis is an economically dynamic region with a transitioning rental market. The future property will offer a “multi-family” rental concept, creating a budget-friendly community for local tenants. 

Urban Campus in Massy & Marseille

Primonial REIM has collaborated with Nexity to acquire two BTR buildings in Massy and Marseille. Urban Campus will work in partnership to design these BTR properties.

The properties feature environmentally conscious design, offering a total of 175 units with private and shared outdoor spaces. They will also provide furnished common areas, enhancing the modern, community-oriented living experience. 

When it comes to the world of real estate investment, there are two primary categories that prospective investors often consider: commercial and residential properties. Both of these categories serve distinct purposes, offer unique advantages, and require different strategies for success. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the benefits of commercial vs. residential real estate, as well as emerging real estate trends. Plus, we will outline some essential steps to embark on a successful real estate investment journey. 


Types of Real Estate: Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate

Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate

The fundamental distinction between commercial vs. residential real estate lies in their intended use.

Commercial properties encompass a wide range of real estate assets, including office buildings, retail spaces and industrial warehouses. These properties are primarily used for business activities, typically housing commercial tenants who rent space for various business operations.

Residential properties, on the other hand, include single family homes, duplexes, apartments, condominiums and multifamily properties. These properties are designed for individuals and families looking for a place to call home. 


Benefits of Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate

Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial properties offers a range of advantages for real estate investors. First, commercial properties often provide higher rental income potential compared to residential properties. Businesses are usually willing to pay a premium for space in areas with high foot traffic and visibility, making commercial properties a potentially lucrative investment. Stable, long term leases are also a common feature of commercial real estate. Commercial leases can be more lengthy than residential ones, providing more security for the investor. Commercial tenants often commit to multi-year leases, reducing turnover and vacancy rates.

Residential Real Estate

Residential leases typically come with predictable rental income, as residential tenants are often individuals or families seeking a stable place to live. Lease terms are generally shorter, providing opportunities to adjust rental rates more frequently. Managing residential properties can be less complex, especially in the case of single-family homes or small multifamily properties. Plus, residential properties can also experience property appreciation over time, contributing to the overall return on investment.


Steps to Embark in Real Estate Property Investment

Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate

Depending on your interests and goals regarding commercial vs. residential real estate, it is important to consider the following…

  • Educate Yourself: With commercial properties, begin by thoroughly understanding the types of commercial properties available and their associated risk profile. Consider the specific requirements of businesses in your target market. For residential properties, gain a deep understanding of the local residential real estate market, property types, and tenant demographics. Stay informed about current market trends.
  • Secure Financing: Explore various financing options, including initial costs and loans with lower loan-to-value ratios. Assess your financial capacity to determine the best financing approach.
  • Conduct Due Diligence: Conduct thorough market research, evaluating property potential for long-term growth. Assess factors such as location, market demand, property condition and property management requirements. 
  • Network: Focus on building relationships with commercial or residential real estate agents, brokers, and property owners, and even local real estate investment groups. Networking can provide insights into market trends and opportunities.
  • Lease Negotiations: Develop strong negotiation skills, and familiarize yourself with applicable laws in your area. Understanding the needs of your future tenants is crucial to this step.


Residential Real Estate in Spain

Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate

The residential real estate market in Spain remains a robust sector for investment. In 2022, home sales in Spain increased by 14.7%, totaling 649,712 transactions, as reported by the National Statistics Institute (INE). This figure is the second-highest in history, only surpassed by the year 2007. Notably, the most significant transactions occurred in major cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga, Sevilla, and Valencia, where populations exceed 50,000. 

The entire year of 2022 marked a historic high in residential market investment, totaling 15.4 billion euros. This demonstrated a 35% growth compared to 2021 and a 21% increase over the previous peak in 2019. Additionally, investment in Build-to-Rent (BTR) and Private Rental Sector (PRS) projects reached a historic high at 2.6 billion euros in 2022. These numbers highlight the enduring strength of Spain’s residential real estate market.



Commercial vs. Residential Real Estate: An Introduction

Coliving is a rapidly growing real estate trend gaining popularity not only in Europe but on a global scale. It involves residents sharing a property, often a spacious house, building, or multi-bedroom apartment, with private rooms for each tenant and communal spaces that foster a sense of community. The growth of coliving can be attributed to shifting socioeconomic dynamics like increasing housing costs and changing lifestyle preferences. All of these factors offer promising prospects for the continued development of the coliving sector.

Coliving occupies a unique position in the real estate landscape, as coliving properties can be managed commercially or residentially. Urban Campus, for instance, takes a residential approach to managing coliving spaces. Our properties have a diverse range of private units and lively communal areas, such as lounges, coworking spaces, terraces, gyms, shared kitchens, and patios. An additional value of coliving is the strong sense of community. At Urban Campus, we organize engaging events that help facilitate these connections, which can be especially meaningful in the midst of a bustling urban city.

Check out Urban Campus’ most recent real estate projects here: 

September 14th, 2023

  • In Interiors writes about Urban Campus’ expertise in Build-to-Rent (BTR) real estate, reflecting on the general growth of coliving and BTR opportunities. 


What is Build-to-Rent?

Build-to-Rent (BTR) is an Anglo-Saxon concept that spans much broader than just coliving. Urban Campus, founded in 2016 and with current operations in France and Spain, specializes in BTR. Build-to-Rent involves an investor purchasing an entire building for rental purposes and entrusting its management to a professional operator, like Urban Campus. BTR buildings typically include some form of private living spaces, ranging from shared rooms to one-bedroom or two-bedroom units. They also offer various shared spacious and optional services tailored to different target demographics.

Build-to-Rent differs from coliving in several ways. In coliving, rent typically includes utilities, internet, and cleaning services. Build-to-rent apartments may not always be furnished, and the services tend to be more varied. BTR complexes still feature shared amenities like coworking spaces, communal kitchens, fitness rooms, and game rooms. In both cases, common spaces are accessible to residents without the need for reservations or additional payments, creating a unique blend of private and shared living experiences.


Advantages of Build-to-Rent Real Estate

In Interiors and Urban Campus discuss Build-to-Rent Real Estate

Maxime Armand, co-founder and director of operations at Urban Campus, emphasizes the benefits of BTR. Some advantages include well-designed apartments with essential amenities, simplified daily living, convenient services, and a strong sense of community. He also discusses Urban Campus’s ambition to create residential products that cater to a wider audience, building upon their current expertise in France and Spain.

Urban Campus is actively working on several Build-to-Rent projects in collaboration with real estate partners and investors. These projects include apartment complexes with various unit sizes, shared spaces, and additional amenities. Urban Campus aims to expand its portfolio to manage approximately thirty residences by 2026.

Read the original article from In Interiors here.

As more real estate investors turn their attention to the residential market it has become increasingly important to cater to the changing demographics of modern society. This is where Urban Campus comes in. We are a leading consultant and operator in the residential real estate market, offering data-driven solutions that match the right product to the right area and investors.

Our focus is on unlocking value and meeting the changing needs of society. One example of our work is a recent collaboration with a developer in France who was revitalizing a post-industrial neighborhood. By researching the area’s demographics and analyzing the surrounding projects, we were able to identify the ideal target market. We recommended creating Build-to-Rent buildings for families and coliving spaces for young professionals and digital nomads. We then spent the last year in the design phase, providing project management and optimization to ensure the best possible outcome. 

At Urban Campus, we not only design residential assets, but offer furnished and unfurnished accommodation with optimized layouts to create a comfortable living space for the tenants. Our focus on community building with the help of common spaces that include a gym, coworking area, extra shared kitchen, lounge to ensure that our residential assets are more than just a place to live; they are an opportunity for people to connect and thrive.

To guarantee the success of our projects, we pay close attention to the temporality of large developments. We arrive during the late phases of the projects, to make sure our tenants are not living around cranes and the neighborhood is ready for our BTR and coliving buildings to sell properly.

Our ultimate goal is to become the operator of the finished building. Our shared living approach has earned us recognition in the market. We have recently hired a specialist to industrialize our approach to analyzing target areas in Spain, Portugal, and France. This will help us identify opportunities for growth and continue to provide innovative solutions for our partners. 


Urban Campus and in’li are continuing their partnership in Île-de-France with the acquisition and co-living management of a new coliving residence in Bagneux by Nexity with 78 new studios at competitive rates and aimed at young working people.

Paris, March 16, 2023, Urban Campus , a French real estate player that designs and manages coliving and Build-to-Rent (BTR) residences, announces, in collaboration with in’li and Nexity , the signing of a new off-plan coliving residence, with 78 studios in Bagneux (92), the construction of which has been entrusted to Nexity with architects from V&A Société d’Architecture

Just three months after signing a similar project in Ivry-sur-Seine for 165 coliving studios, Urban Campus confirms its establishment in the Paris region, this time in Hauts-de-Seine. At the same time, the residential real estate specialist is continuing its development in France with, among other things, projects in Alsace and Hauts-de-France and is preparing to market its first coliving residence in Lille very soon.

A response to the shortage of attractive housing suffered by young working people.

Faced with the increasing difficulties encountered by young workers in accessing rental accommodation, Urban Campus and in’li, under the project management of Nexity, are offering in a competitive market, 78 new studios for coliving at competitve rates, which provides a more affordable option compared to traditional rental offers.

These new housing units with attractive rates, are close to employment markets and various transportation options, promoting residential and professional mobility for a whole segment of the population who today have great difficulty finding housing. The new arrivals will consist of young people at the start of their careers or employees on medium or long-term assignments are who will find this new rental offer an adequate response to their expectations and needs.

In order to guarantee these innovative real estate solutions, the residence will be managed by Urban Campus as part of a long-term management contract and the management strategy of in’li, an institutional lessor subsidiary of the Action Logement group. In’li’s mission is to develop an affordable and sustainable housing offer in tense areas to bring middle-class employees and young workers closer to their workplace.

The recognized experience of Urban Campus in the management of coliving residences provides the community of residents with support conducive to exchanges, sharing, and synergies. A whole program of entertainment and events promotes the feeling of belonging to a community wishing to move forward together on professional, associative and local projects.

A residence that participates in the redevelopment of an entire district of Bagneux

The building of 78 new studios in Bagneux will be designed in order to ensure the essential balance of coliving, between quality private and connected spaces, cozy shared spaces (kitchen, lounges ), and inspiring, functional, and user-friendly common spaces (coworking space, gym, rooftop, event spaces, projection room, terraces). The residence will house several shops and restaurants on the ground floor.

Connected by the RER B, more recently by the extensions of line 4 and line 15 to come, and close to employment hubs, shops and restaurants, the residence is part of the architectural and real estate redevelopment of the neighborhood.

The new coliving is certified RE2020 / NF Habitat HQE; labels that guarantee buildings that meet all of the housing quality criteria: comfort, quality of life, respect for the environment, and economic and environmental performance.

Anxious to limit the carbon footprint of its construction, Nexity wanted to keep the facade of the old building in the project.

Urban Campus is involved with Nexity from start to finish in the residence’s VEFA program and participates in the design of the space, at all stages of construction, until the opening in 2025.