Melbourne Uni in deal to build student accommodation worth $300m

An artist’s impression of the 303 Royal Parade refurbishment for the University of Melbourne.

AMP Capital and the University of Melbourne have partnered in a 40-year deal to deliver $300 million worth of student accommodation.

The venture, through AMP Capital’s diversified infrastructure trust (ADIT), will see two residences — 303 Royal Parade and “Little Hall” — refurbished and built at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus, providing accommodation for 954 students by the end of 2020.

It will further add to ADIT’s existing investment in student accommodation. The project will sit alongside the trust’s 650-bed Sydney University Village facility, which has been part of its portfolio for more than 15 years.

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ADIT portfolio manager Brad Williams welcomed the partnership as a long-term investment for shareholders.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the University of Melbourne to deliver a new and vibrant campus-living community that will support the education and academic achievement of its students,” Williams says.

“Tertiary education is Australia’s third-largest export sector, benefiting from significant increases in international enrolments with annual growth of 11%.

“The concession agreement will support the University of Melbourne’s growth as a global education provider while delivering long-term inflation-linked cash flows for our investors.”

The refurbishment of 303 Royal Parade is expected to be completed by January, ahead of the first semester. The construction of Little Hall is expected to be delivered by semester two, 2020.

Little Hall was established following a $30 million gift to the univer­sity by former Toll Holdings boss Paul Little and his wife, Jane Hansen, earlier this year and will provide the new residence, a flagship scholarship program and an academic and social enrichment program.

University of Melbourne vice-principal, administration and fin­ance, and chief financial officer Allan Tait says providing high-quality, diverse accommodation options operated by the Univer­sity of Melbourne is a key priority.

“As the university continues to grow, it is important that we find more dedicated student accommodation that is close to the Parkville campus. These residencies have been designed to provide the highest quality facilities and amenities to support students in their academic endeavours,’’ he says.

As part of the deal, the uni­versity retains operational res­ponsibility, including marketing and day-to-day pastoral care to students.

ADIT will take on responsi­bility for facilities management services such as building maintenance, which has been outsourced to Spotless for 40 years.

The University of Melbourne has been advised by Flagstaff Partners, Ashurst and Assured Solutions in relation to student accommodation transaction.

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