Scape, UTS trade accommodation portfolio

Bulga Ngurra in Ultimo is one of the assets Scape is picking up. Image: Google Street View.

Scape is paying the University of Technology Sydney a speculated $95 million for three student housing assets with a total of 428 beds near its Haymarket campus.

Scape is planning a 27-level student accommodation complex at 23-29 Victoria Street, Melbourne.

As part of the deal, the purchaser will fund 10 scholarships for UTS students – who will also receive a 50 per cent discount on accommodation at one of the residences.

The acquisition comes two months since the property investor won approval to construct five projects – between six and 18 storeys – in the city’s Kensington and Kingston.

In June, Scape spent $32.5m on an 894 square metre site at the top of Melbourne’s CBD, with plans for a 27-level tower.

Last year the student accommodation giant agreed to pay c$15m for Oxfam’s Carlton office – later winning approval to replace it with a 14 floor asset.

Scape on track for over 22,000 beds

Scape’s newest properties – Geegal, Bulga Ngurra and Gumal Ngurang, are in Ultimo and Darlington.

The buyer is purchasing them via the Student Accommodation Core Program, supported by capital partners including Allianz Real Estate, AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, APG Asset Management and pension fund Bouwinvest.

“We are thrilled to be able to acquire these assets from UTS at this time,” Scape Australia managing director and group chief executive officer, Stephen Gaitanos said (story continues below).

“The location of the assets is prime and we look forward to collaborating more closely with UTS as we begin to welcome students back to Sydney safely,” he added.

According to Savills, Scape controls over 12,500 Australian beds with a development pipeline potentially increasing this number to over 22,500.

The bulk of its portfolio (6805 beds) was created in 2019 when the accommodation provider paid Urbanest $2.1 billion for 14 assets – seven of which were in Sydney.

Not long earlier, Scape picked up the Atira platform, with 3510 beds, from Blue Sky and Goldman Sachs following a near $700m outlay.

Last month we reported the University of New South Wales sold a housing complex and childcare centre, at Kingsford, for $10.11m.

Elsewhere in the New South Wales capital, Wee Hur Holdings last year paid bp $46.1m for an ex-service station, at Redfern, for its third local student accommodation asset.

UTS holds onto a modern on-campus complex, Yura Mundang, which accommodates 700 residents.

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Marc Pallisco

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