In a welcome move, Brisbane City Council has announced that it will offer developers a $13,440 discount to build student accommodation around the Brisbane city area.
The incentives are a response to the high demand for student accommodation and the Council hopes they will kick-start construction in the sector.
Developers are well placed to take advantage of the opportunity with some of Australia’s leading architects in student housing such as Wilson Architects and Arkhefield being based in the city.
According to a JLL Report, In June 2014, Brisbane had less than one bedroom of Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) for every ten students and as enrolments in higher education continue to grow, Brisbane’s need for student accommodation will remain strong.
Brisbane City Council is offering a $13,440 discount for infrastructure and utilities charges for every unit built.
‘This is a significant saving for developers and will allow them to take advantage of this great opportunity while the market is active," Andrew Gutteridge, Principal, Arkhefield said.
"The significant saving on infrastructure also means an emphasis can be put on creating a better quality outcome, including better buildings for the city and world-class facilities for students."Increased competition in the tertiary sector means universities are looking to bolster their competitive advantage by offering quality student accommodation.
Students are also paying more for their education, and expecting more from their overall university experience. This is where developers can capitalise on the experience of our world-class design talent.
Hamilton Wilson, Managing Director of Wilson Architects believes that well-designed student accommodation is the key to a good development.
“Well-designed accommodation is more than just a comfortable room. Today’s students want to feel like they’re part of a community —great design can provide the sense of identity that is so highly prized in an institution like Harvard, for example. And this is great news for the university — and the developer,” Mr Wilson said.
The latest trends in PBSA design also address the issues of increasing rents and affordability by providing a range of different layouts from self-contained studios to 6 bedroom apartments.
“Students are also looking for shared amenities such as games rooms, gyms and communal kitchens. Cleverly designed, these elements can give a development an edge in the market and end up adding more to the project’s bottom line,” Mr Wilson said.
Key areas for development close to the city include Woolloongabba and South Bank. Developers have also been acquiring unused office buildings in the CBD with a view to refurbishment.
"Adaptive re-use provides developers with another great way to take advantage of this great initiative and create a commercially viable project that will also reinvigorate the city," Mr Gutteridge said.
Article contributed by Danielle Murtough, Lindy Johnson.
Feature Photo: King's College Centenary Building, The University of Queensland by Wilson Architects. Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones