Project Focus: Scape Living Building Melbourne & Brisbane Student Communities


Australia's student accommodation boom is attracting investment from around the world, with UK-based provider Scape Living gearing up to launch two major projects in Australia.

Scape Living entered the Australian market last year with the purchase of prime sites in Melbourne and Brisbane for projects with an end value of more than $560 million.

It is the first major expansion for the company out of the UK, where the company already has four facilities in and around London.

Scape's Brisbane site at Southbank was amalgamated from two separate sites with plans for a $160 million student housing facility with 700 bedrooms. The project is awaiting DA approval.

Scape, whose investors include private equity firm Telopea Capital, aims to go beyond providing simple accommodation solutions by building student communities using  student studio rooms and teaching spaces as well as rentable co-worker and incubator space for new businesses, in addition to communal areas for recreation, cafes and a gym.

Scape Brisbane will offer a range of premium studios. The building has been designed to have a campus feel with lots of communal areas and additional facilities. Quiet study areas, relaxed lounges and inspiring spaces are all part of the Scape experience, where students will feel at home. Features include:

  • Wifi internet, desk and chair, shelves and storage, magnetic whiteboard and ambient lighting.

"The sector needs higher-quality managers and for a long time it has been very sleepy so I think we will see more institutional money and major entrants in the very near term," Scape managing director Stephen Gaitanos told The Australian Financial Review. "We are not just offering a bed, blanket and bathroom, this is a fully integrated student hub."

"We want a campus-style community but off-campus, so we have been deliberate about acquiring freehold assets to build from scratch. The idea is to go downstairs and bounce ideas around in a creative space instead of cramming into a bedroom."

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