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23 Jun 2021

Student Accommodation Scape Australia Wins Approval for Four Towers in Kensington

Student Accommodation Scape Australia Wins Approval for Four Towers in Kensington

Scape, the country's largest provider of university student accommodation, has been given permission to construct four purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) buildings in Kensington and Kingsford, near the University of New South Wales.

The precinct, which will be created on each corner of Anzac Parade and Todman Street, is part of Randwick City Council's K2K (Kensington to Kingsford) strategy for the area.

When completed, it will have around 1500 beds, 8000 square meters of retail and commercial space, and substantial public domain spaces featuring laneways, plazas, multi-purpose spaces, and innovation labs.

On the 3000sq m land at 11-125 Anzac Parade, Scape intends to construct an SJB-designed cluster of buildings ranging in height from six to eighteen stories.

It plans three 18-story buildings on the intersection's neighboring corners, located at 172-180 Anzac Parade, 391-397 Anzac Parade, and 182-190 Anzac Parade, designed by PTW Architects, BVN, and Plus Architecture, respectively.

Several environmental aspects are woven throughout the precinct, including 5-Star Green Star building designs, which will be backed by activities such as car share, e-bikes, and rainwater reuse.

Rooftop gardens, pool and relaxation zones, outdoor and indoor fitness zones, dining and gathering pavilions, and study zones will be available in each of the towers.

The international border closure and the loss of foreign students, who are not likely to return in large numbers until at least the beginning of next year, have been terrible for the PBSA and education development sectors.

Prior to the pandemic, there was a shortage of student housing due to a 15% increase in the number of overseas students starting at UNSW.

Property experts across the education sector have expressed concern that persistent periodic lockdowns, a drive toward online learning, and increased competition from outside markets could stymie the sector's revival.

Scape managing director Stephen Gaitanos, who will talk at The Urban Developer's Education Development Summit on June 24, stated that Australia's long-term position as a world-class education leader is not in jeopardy.

“There will always be global competition and that is good for any sector,” Gaitanos told The Urban Developer.

“As a global owner operator of PBSA assets we closely monitor the markets we operate in, including the UK, US, Ireland and Australia, which is our biggest market.

“NSW has some of the best universities in Australia and the world [and] coupled with the most collaborative and forward-thinking state government, this makes us very comfortable and confident to commit more than $1 billion to [this] precinct. It is a world-class location in need of world-class urban student living, commercial, teaching and learning accommodation—and will commence construction later in the year.”