84,000 Melbourne students without a place to stay? Not if Scape Living Student Accommodation has anything to say about it.
The Australia/UK real estate conglomerate with a passion for trendy student residences has just proposed a plan for the tallest student-housing skyscraper ever to grace the city CBD—or anywhere else for that matter. If accepted by the government, the project will have the distinction of being the tallest student-specific apartment complex on the planet.
Scape has earmarked a 2,000 sq m site on Franklin Street for the development, which will serve as a pioneering example of Australia’s up-and-coming “build-to-rent” investment initiative. Primarily a facility for students, the 60-storey project will cost a reported $300 million plus to complete and will supposedly include accommodations for 740 student beds, 146 city living units for urban-minded apartment dwellers and approximately 11,500 sq m’s worth of commercial and/or academic space. The location, just minutes from RMIT, will likely be a major draw, as will Scape’s trademark expansive kitchens and speedy Wi-Fi.
While this Scape development may cast the company’s longest shadow, it’s far from the only project the organisation has in the works within Melbourne CBD. Several other plans are in preparation as part of a growing Melbourne portfolio that may reach $1 billion in value. On nearby Swanston Street, for example, one 870-student-bed structure is under consideration while a 780-bed complex is being built as we speak.
True to Australia’s current economic profile, Scape Living Student Accommodation boasts Chinese investors—contributors include China’s ICBC International as well as the Dutch-based Bouwinvest. With shareholders like these, Scape clearly hopes to give other student real estate bigwigs like Blue Sky and GSA a run for their proverbial money.