Balfour Beatty wins Aussie student accommodation project

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Balfour Beatty wins Aussie student accommodation project

The University of Wollongong, Australia, has awarded to a team led by Balfour Beatty Investments the PPP project to develop new student accommodation facilities.

Balfour Beatty has partnered with Morrison and Co to win the tender process.

The project will be developed on University of Wollongong land. The student accommodation project will have capacity for 1040 students. It will be developed in two phases:

  • The first phase involves the development of a 240-bed building for post-graduate students on Northfields Avenue. This phase is expected to be operational by July 2015.
  • The second phase involves the development of an 800-bed building at Kooloobong Village. This phase is expected to be operational by 2018.

The project involves the development, finance and maintenance of the new facilities for a period of 39 years. 

Balfour Beatty Investments managing director Rob Drake stated:

We are aware a number of the other universities have been watching very closely this transaction. The way deregulation is going, the lack of money coming from ... federal government means that universities will have to look at transactions like this to effectively monetise their portfolios. It's a very efficient way for them to access the private sector expertise in student accommodation.

The University of Wollongong currently owns and operates nine accommodation facilities, which have capacity for about 1900 students. According to an independent review, the University of Wollongong would need about 1100 new beds by 2020.

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