Student living operator Scape has acquired a Swanston Street site with plans to rework the approved permit to accommodate 500 beds.
The site was listed last year by Sydney developer Besgate Group as a “marketable, ready to go project” and sold with development approval for a 159-unit, 12-storey tower.
Scape acquired the 558-566 Swanston Street site for $31.5 million, Fairfax reported, adding to its $1 billion portfolio.
The Scape site sits adjacent to Little Hall, Paul Little’s philanthropic student accommodation project for the University of Melbourne. The $100 million building will house 669 students on the former International Tobacco Co. factory site on the corner of Swanston Street and Lincoln Square.
The former Toll Holdings boss and his wife Jane Hansen made a $30 million gift to the university in May, with plans for at least $2 million of returns from the hall to be used to fund a scholarship program for students.
The University of Melbourne has reportedly flagged plans to invest in the booming student accommodation sector, recently appointing advisory group Flagstaff Partners to undertake an investment process for a portfolio of 1000 beds.
ASX-listed Watpac has been awarded the $49 million contract to build a 13-storey accommodation tower to house 648 University of Melbourne students.
The purpose-built tower is being developed by student accommodation fund manager Cedar Pacific. The group has also sought financial backing, announcing that it was looking to raise up to $600 million to invest in PBSA projects.
Watpac also delivered the Leicester Street student accommodation project – a 648-bed, 14-storey project next to the Cedar Pacific tower – at the University of Melbourne in 2016.