Perth site bought for new student accommodation mandate

The permitted 30 storey student accommodation complex.

Fund manager Australian Unity with UniLodge and MaxCap have formed a $1 billion student accommodation mandate.

The Wellington Street site sold for $10 million.

To be seeded with a 30 storey, 732-bed facility at 319-335 Wellington Street, in Perth’s CBD – a site which cost $10 million in July – the trio will develop nationally.

The announcement comes less than a week since GPT and QuadReal formed an alliance to hold assets of this type.

In that deal, nine assets with c5000 beds, worth a combined c$1b, were the initial properties.

In Auckland, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne, these are coincidentally also managed by UniLodge.

Last year, meanwhile, Brookfield, which like QuadReal is Canadian, with Citiplan and Journal Student Living formed a partnership to develop and operate student accommodation product – starting with a 930 bed complex in Brisbane’s CBD.

Some 1.8 million students are enrolled at Australian universities.

Chasing 3000 beds

Perpetual Corporate Trust sold 319-335 Wellington St; Cygnet West’s Tory Packer and Henry Vu were the agents (story continues below).

The 1404 sqm block with a heritage protected building previously traded for $8.8 million in 2019.

The student accommodation tower, expected to cost $108m to build, is set to open in 2026, about the same time as the Edith Cowan University campus a few hundred metres away.

UniLodge will operate it, adding to the c38,000 beds it manages now.

“Education in Australia is the leading non-resource sector asset class,” MaxCap head of Direct Investment, Simon Hulett, said.

“Twenty five per cent of enrolments are international and are seeking quality housing given the dearth of on-campus stock, which represents only about five pc of supply,” he added.

The deal comes two years since AU partnered with UniLodge to deliver the 695-bed Lady Lamington student accommodation complex at Herston, in Brisbane’s inner east.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of