Commercial close for UOW accommodation PPP in Australia

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Commercial close for UOW accommodation PPP in Australia

The University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia, and a team composed by Balfour Beatty Investments and Morrison and Co have achieved commercial close for the PPP project to develop new student accommodation facilities.

The partnership comes after the University sought expressions of interest from private partners in late 2013, in response to increasing demand for accommodation from domestic and international students.

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. 

Under the PPP structure, UOW retains responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the student accommodation, including the nine existing facilities (1900 students), plus the new components to be constructed.

The total project investment is estimated at A$250 million (US$210.4 million).

Rob Drake, Head of Balfour Beatty Investments Australia, said:

"We are absolutely delighted to be working with the University and applying our capabilities to assist UOW in achieving its ambitions. Balfour Beatty Investments takes a global approach to the higher education sector, with its university accommodation team in Sydney working with their colleagues in the UK and the United States, collaborating on the latest, best in class designs, as well as the best service delivery and the optimal financial structure."

Professor Paul Wellings, UOW Vice-Chancellor, said:

"We are very excited about this opportunity to work with a world-class public infrastructure partner and to increase the capacity and quality of our student accommodation. The project will continue our efforts to create a vibrant campus and also allow us to recycle funds for vital teaching and research infrastructure and resources."

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