Exploring the expected new benchmark for student living

Exploring the expected new benchmark for student living
Mark BaljakSeptember 6, 2015

It may not be the first high-rise student accommodation project within the CBD but it shapes as the most prominent. While the first to do so was Urbanest La Trobe Street which received its final touches earlier this year, Scape Student Living expect 393 Swanston Street to create a new benchmark within the sector.

In light of a recent urban.com.au article highlighting the near on 6,000 student beds currently in development, it's an apt point in time to peruse the plans for the development which Scape Student Living have indicated will be completed during 2018. Deakin House located at 393-397 Swanston Street, directly opposite RMIT, is set to make way for the tower which gained approval during March 2015.

Exploring the expected new benchmark for student living
Artist's impression of 393 Swanston Street. Image courtesy DCM

393 Swanston Street presents as Scape Student Living's first project in Melbourne, with the outfit backed by Sydney-based Telopia Capital and Dutch pension fund APG. With 750 beds included within the Swanston Street project, Scape Student Living have sought to bring a new level of amenity and community to the project.

According to a recent AFR article the development will see apartments include a desk, ensuite, double bed and kitchenette, with the project modelled upon the successful London namesake operation. London Scape not only fosters student studio rooms and teaching spaces but also rentable co-worker and incubator space for new businesses.

Up to date information released by the Federal Government's Department of Education and Training shows that both local and national international student enrolments continue to grow strongly, suggesting that when 393 Swanston Street is launched, it will be met with strong uptake.

From the ground up

Exploring the expected new benchmark for student living
Various aspects of the approved development. Image courtesy DCM

Two basement levels are set to house the majority of services associated with the development, with scope for 157 bicycle bays also allowed for. Ground floor will feature a cavernous lobby with main access via Little La Trobe Street while and cafe and two retail spaces fronting Swanston Street accounting for most of the rest of the 780sqm ground floor area.

398sqm across Level 1 is dedicated toward common amenities, with spiral stair connecting ground floor to the amenities area. A terrace fronting both Swanston and Little La Trobe is also incorporated over Level 1.

Subsequent levels carry apartments with all receiving at least one source of natural light. The majority of floors are spread over 570sqm with 16-20 apartments per floor the norm, although the tower's form does taper inwards over the top few levels. Levels 38 and 39 carry external terraces while Level 41 holds only nine apartments with a northern aspect.

Reaching a height of 136.7 metres, 393 Swanston Street's crown is expected to receive signage upon completion. Both the south and west elevations are mostly inactive given the adjoining sites at 377 Swanston and 212-222 La Trobe have approval for high-rise towers, the latter Scape's next Melbourne project.

Scape Carlton?

Scape Carlton or Scape CUB may be the moniker attached to the group's latest acquisition, the final piece of the CUB Carlton site moved on by Grocon mid year. Scape Student Living were revealed as the purchaser of the site during July in a deal valued at $20 million.

The scale and composition of any development set to call the corner of Swanston and Queensberry home is as yet unknown. In previous years McBride Charles Ryan conceived a design for a student accommodation tower on an adjoining parcel within the CUB site.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of Urban.com.au. He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

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