Profiling the next wave of Melbourne student accommodation builds

Profiling the next wave of Melbourne student accommodation builds
Mark BaljakAugust 5, 2018

A trio of current construction tenders are heralding the next wave of student accommodation builds that will aid in servicing the sector.

Three major projects are at tender; 183-189 A'Beckett Street625-631 Swanston Street and 500 Swanston Street. Combined they stand to add in the vicinity of 2,140 additional students beds.

Largest is Wee Hur Holdings' A'Beckett street plot which the developer pounced upon after it was offered for sale with approved plans for an apartment development in tow. 183-189 A'Beckett Street forms an integral plank in Wee Hur Holdings' expansion into the student accommodation sector.

The pending build will form part of an expected portfolio of developments that will eventually contain 3250 beds across Australia.

Hayball have conceived the redesigned tower which spans 48 levels, and are also responsible for 625-631 Swanston Street. Dubbed Little Hall, that mid-rise build aims to deliver 669 students beds in conjunction with the University of Melbourne opposite Carlton's Lincoln Square.

Profiling the next wave of Melbourne student accommodation builds
Hayball's take on A'Beckett Street

Little Projects head Paul Little is backing the development, with a personal donation used to fund a new “philanthropic” model of student accommodation where at least $2 million of returns from the hall will be used to fund a scholarship program.

A head contractor is on track to be appointed and commence works by October 2018, with a 2020 completion date in mind.

Demolition works have just wrapped up at 500 Swanston Street. The former CFMEU headquarters has made way Journal Student Living's next Melbourne project. When appointed the prevailing builder will construct a METIER3-designed tower that includes near on 600 student beds and an activated laneway at street level.

The current tenders follow on from Watpac announcing last month that it was awarded a $49 million contract to build 123-135 Bouverie Street. That project involves the delivery of 579 beds for developer Cedar Pacific, with the building to be managed by UniLodge.

Also in the construction queue are UniLodge Place at 478-488 Elizabeth Street and South Yarra's first dedicated student accommodation building, Iglu at 6 Claremont Street.

A sweep through's current Melbourne student accommodation builds sees a dozen projects at construction, combining to add 4,385 new beds to the sector.

The dramatic slow in new development applications is in part reflective of the industry's rapid delivery of student accommodation builds in recent years to match latent demand. No new major development applications have been lodged this calendar year for student accommodation projects across inner Melbourne.

Profiling the next wave of Melbourne student accommodation builds
Demand is set to be absorbed by projects such as 1 Flemington Road

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of 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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