The West Australian

Campus Perth in race for student tower first

- Helen Shield

Campus Perth will go head-tohead with rival The Student Housing Company when the two Stirling Street student lodging towers throw open their doors at the start of next year.

Campus Perth, a $100 million DevWest project funded by Gaw Capital Partners, has effectivel­y recycled and added on to the dated former 80 Stirling Street head office of Telstra in Perth, and is on track to convert it into study, home and entertainm­ent space for more than 1000 students.

The 11-floor developmen­t will comprise shared student sleeping quarters, ranging from the most cost-effective four and sixbed apartment options, with bunks and study space, to studios for one or the twin-share “twodios”.

Much has been made of WA’s need to reclaim its dwindling share of the lucrative internatio­nal student market and Gaw Capital Partners president Kenneth Gaw said Campus Perth backers were encouraged by enthusiast­ic support for the project, particular­ly from those keen to arrest WA’s sliding internatio­nal student share, which dipped below 7 per cent last year.

Unlike Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, each of Perth’s university campuses are outside the city centre, a factor identified as discouragi­ng for young people, partly because jobs, services and entertainm­ent were mostly central.

Christophe Vielle, chief executive of the Thailand-based GCP Hospitalit­y, the hotel and lifestyle accommodat­ion group running Campus Perth, said the towers, “a first for Perth”, were designed for a mix of local and overseas students.

Mr Gaw said the end of the mining boom had provided an opening for Perth’s tertiary education sector because the city had become very expensive.

“For us frankly as an investor, we always like to invest ahead of the trend,” he said.

“That’s how we make money. And we see that in the future, that’s where Perth can grow.”

Campus Perth general manager Brian McHenry said the fourbed and six-bed apartments would appeal to regional and remote WA students wanting to stick together away from home.

Campus Perth, with Stirling Capital’s 24-level The Student Housing Project across the road, will be the first of a series of centrally located student housing developmen­ts.

Cedar Pacific is working on a Perth City Link plan for Roe Street behind the Perth Entertainm­ent Centre, and 30-level

Atira Student Living on the Wellington Surplus Stores site on the corner of Pier Street is scheduled for a 2020 opening. Recently industry watchers have speculated DevWest could add students into to its mixeduse residentia­l, office, retail and entertainm­ent plan for Perth City Link Lot 10 north.

At 80 Stirling Street, the “inefficien­t” floor plates of Telstra’s former head office proved a brilliant fit for students, as the bedroom accommodat­ion, with windows, is around the edge of the building and the large internal areas are dedicated to communal study, exercise, kitchen, laundry and entertainm­ent.

Mr Vielle said Campus Perth would offer something different. “Are we going to be the ones to turn around the numbers of (internatio­nal) students and bring in another 10,000? Probably not,” he said.

“Definitely this kind of product will show to the foreign market there are quality living spaces for students. Perth was a little bit behind compared with Melbourne or Sydney.”

Mr Vielle said the more student housing options on offer in the area, the more it would be recognised as a student housing precinct, creating a sense of community.

In any case, Mr Gaw said, the internatio­nal student market was growing. “We (with Stirling Capital) will be introducin­g 1000 beds jointly — from zero — (early next year) and from the numbers we have seen, the demand is much higher than that,” he said.

 ?? Pictures: Simon Santi ?? Campus Perth’s Brian McHenry, Gaw Capital’s Kenneth Gaw with GCP Hospitalit­y’s Christophe Vielle and Tony Chisolm in a mocked-up student share room at 80 Stirling Street.
Pictures: Simon Santi Campus Perth’s Brian McHenry, Gaw Capital’s Kenneth Gaw with GCP Hospitalit­y’s Christophe Vielle and Tony Chisolm in a mocked-up student share room at 80 Stirling Street.
 ??  ?? Campus Perth display rooms.
Campus Perth display rooms.
 ??  ?? Stirling Capital’s rival student tower, across the road.
Stirling Capital’s rival student tower, across the road.
 ??  ?? Bunks with desks and storage.
Bunks with desks and storage.
 ??  ?? Campus Perth studio room.
Campus Perth studio room.

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