Cam­pus Perth in race for stu­dent tower first

The West Australian - - PROP­ERTY - 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.

Cam­pus Perth dis­play rooms.

Stir­ling Cap­i­tal’s ri­val stu­dent tower, across the road.

Bunks with desks and stor­age.

Cam­pus Perth stu­dio room.

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