A development application for a $70 million student accommodation tower has been lodged in Perth's CBD by Blue Sky Real Estate.
Located at the corner of Pier Street and Wellington Street, the proposed 30-storey tower contains 713 beds in 373 units, together with student-orientated communal facilities and three ground level commercial tenancies.
Blue Sky Private Real Estate entered into a joint venture with Goldman Sachs last year to tap into the growing student accommodation sector, with plans to build a $1 billion portfolio of student accommodation across Australian and New Zealand.
The tower, designed by Hayball Architects, is located on the old Wellington Street Army Surplus store site, which was purchased for $8.4 million in 2016.
The site is directly opposite the proposed World Trade Center and McIver train station.
The purpose-designed facility is proposed to accommodate higher education students, visiting academics and teaching staff.
Perth's student accommodation market is relatively immature when compared to Australia's other capital cities. The market is dominated by university-operated accommodation, with only seven commercially operated Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) locations in the city in 2016.
In JLL’s student accommodation market review, conducted late last year, they estimated that there were currently around 4,903 available beds catering to close to 79,000 full time students, representing a market penetration rate of 6.2 per cent.
“Perth stands out as potentially the greatest opportunity for market expansion of PBSA nationally.”
The proposed building’s amenities, which are catered to a university student’s education and comfort, are supported by the building’s location in Perth.
The building sits across the sites at 105-107 Pier Street and 325 – 335 Wellington Street, and is walking distance from over a dozen education facilities, including the Central Institute of Technology, CQUniversity’s new Perth campus, Curtin’s Law School and Curtin’s Graduate School of Business.
The site has been home to a suite of shops which have been associated with the military surplus industry since 1948.
According to the proposal, the development represents an exciting opportunity for the City of Perth to substantially increase its day and night time population – providing immediate vibrancy and support for local businesses.
“In particular, the proposed development will support recent City and private-led efforts to revitalise the east end of the CBD. The 713 people plus staff in this striking building will act as an additional catalyst and symbol for these ongoing initiatives,” the proposal said.
Rooms range from single and twin studios, to three, four and five-bed clusters. The clustered rooms feature shared spaces to promote communal living while still providing separate spaces to study and eat. All students are provided with plenty of robe storage.
The proposed development’s design was inspired by the landscape colours of Western Australia, with layers of tonality, clean lines and raw materials and warm natural earth colours.
The interiors feature dappled natural light through perforated screens and integrated indoor/outdoor spaces that help to provide a sense of calm retreat from the outside world.
This submission is the fourth development for student accommodation in Perth's CBD in just over a year.
Together the projects will add 2000-plus residents to the CBD within a couple of years, reinvigorating under-used parts of the city.
The submission was lodged with the City of Perth’s Local Development Assessment panel in early September.
Images courtesy Hayball via City of Perth.