Singapore-based Centurion Properties is proposing to build a 732-unit student housing complex in Sydney, Australia for A$132.17 million ($91.5 million) to serve the growing demand for high quality facilities generated by a wave of returning overseas students.
A unit of Centurion Properties, which is the controlling shareholder in SGX-listed Centurion Corp, has applied to the City of Ryde, a suburb northwest of the New South Wales capital, for permission to build a student accommodation complex at 17-21 Lachlan Avenue and 163 Herring Road in Macquarie Park, application documents lodged on 9 January showed.
The plan, which was first reported by local property news site The Urban Developer, indicates that SGX-listed firm Centurion will operate the project under its dwell Living brand, through which the company already owns 19 student housing facilities across Australia, Korea, the UK and the US.
“The expected growth in international student numbers following the height of COVID-19 related health and travel restrictions as well as the continued growth in domestic student numbers is likely to increase demand for student accommodation close to the Macquarie University Campus,” the application read. “By contributing to the supply of housing specifically for students, it is assumed the proposal will assist in reducing any transference of this demand to the private rental market.”
Aiming for Returning Students
To build the new project, Centurion Properties is proposing to knock down four existing four-storey apartment blocks on the 3,902 square metre (42,000 square foot) site and develop a purpose-built student accommodation with a 13-storey wing facing Herring Road, a 15-storey wing on the side of Lachlan Avenue and a 10-floor wing between the two.
The proposed complex will house 732 student rooms in a mix of cluster apartments as well as standard and premium studios.
Proposed as a way to provide foreign students coming to Australia with high quality accommodation, the buildings will also incorporate communal areas with amenities including dining areas, gym facilities, lounges, study rooms, courtyards and a roof terrace with swimming pool. It will also have 24/7 on-site management and security.
Located about 500 metres (547 yards) from the centre of the Macquarie University campus the site is also less than five minutes’ walk from a metro station which provides access to Sydney’s central business district in less than an hour..
Given the size of the investment, the plan was also referred to the Sydney North Planning Panel for review. The documents, however, did not indicate a timeline for the application process.
When asked to comment, a representative from Centurion Corp said the listed firm is not involved in the Sydney property.
Students and Workers United
Listed on both the Hong Kong and Singapore stock exchanges, Centurion Corp specializes in developing and operating worker and student accommodation and had 36 operational properties with 79,713 beds as of end-2021.
The group’s student housing portfolio is managed under the Dwell brand with 10 assets in the UK, two properties in Australia and one in Seoul, South Korea.
Its purpose-built rental properties for workers are managed under its Westlite Accommodation brand with nine operational assets in Singapore and eight in Malaysia.
While waiting for regulators to green light its latest Aussie project, Centurion Corp is also busy with a S$85 million joint venture with SGX-listed developer Lian Beng Group in Singapore’s Geylang area.
In the traditional industrial neighbourhood the partners are building a 1,650-bed dormitory for foreign workers at Ubi Avenue 3 on a 7,045 square metere land plot that they won through a public tender on 13 January for S$40.2 million.
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