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Uni Backs Gold Coast Student Housing Tower Plan

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Developer GC1st has lodged plans for a 12-storey student accommodation tower on the Gold Coast to be branded by Southern Cross University.

The application for a 173-unit tower at 99 Golden Four Drive, Bilinga includes 223 bedrooms, communal areas for studying, dining and recreation as well as a cafe and kiosk on the ground floor.

The design by BDA architects shows a mix of single and queen studio apartments as well as single rooms with shared kitchens and bathrooms.

The building, to be located near Gold Coast Airport and Kirra beach, would have a single level of basement parking as there was an “emphasis being placed on bicycle parking due to the student population and strong transport links in this location”, according to the application.

Related: GSA Lodges $110m Plans for Adelaide Accommodation

▲ Southern Cross University's Gold Coast campus buildings are blue, yellow and grey located next to the airport near Kirra beach.
▲ Current buildings on Southern Cross University's Gold Coast campus are about 100m from the development application by GC1st.


Southern Cross University vice chancellor professor Adam Shoemaker said although they agreed to brand the tower with the university’s colours, they provided no financial outlay.

“The growth of our Gold Coast campus continues and there are very limited opportunities for students in terms of accommodation,” Shoemaker said.

“Although the Covid-19 crisis has caused a significant drop in international students, now is the time to get the planning and construction under way for such a project so that we are ready as soon as possible after the borders do re-open.”

Prior to the pandemic, international student enrolments reached 350,000 in Australia and the sector was trying to catch up with demands for accommodation.

Covid-19 hit the sector hard with international arrivals dropping to new lows and only a few universities participating in scaled student trials.

In recent months some student accommodation towers have also been repurposed for temporary crisis housing or mandatory 14-day quarantine for returned travellers.

Shoemaker said this latest development had merit and the university would work together to promote it to prospective students in the future.

“Equally, we have many domestic students from interstate and other parts of Queensland who would like to live much closer to campus,” Shoemaker said.

“We have accommodation at our Lismore and Coffs Harbour campuses and this service would be a welcome addition to the southern Gold Coast.”

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Article originally posted at: https://theurbandeveloper.com/articles/gc1st-lodge-plans-for-southern-cross-uni-accommodation