It recently granted an unusual permit to develop student accommodation behind two attached derelict terrace homes, in a prime Swanston Street position across the road from Melbourne University.
The homes were owned and lived in by the same couple for more than 80 years before the existing vendor “did a Vizard” – knocking on the door of the property and making the long-time residents an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Fast forward a couple of months and the rear of the property has been cleared, awaiting development. The front of the property is protected by an overlay and cannot be demolished.
CB Richard Ellis senior manager Mark Wizel who is marketing the properties, says the 144 square metre site has the potential for between 13 and 20 boutique student accommodation units.
He said demand for student housing is strong, and points to Becton’s College Square project nearby, where 549 units out of a possible 553 units have sold.
Developer Piccolo Developments is one of the bigger student accommodation developers in the area, often building multi-unit apartment towers on small blocks close to both the University of Melbourne and RMIT.
Its recent D1 student accommodation project in Carlton recently won an award for the environmentally sustainable design at the BPN/Environ Sustainability Awards, held earlier this month.