The Australian National University in Canberra awarded Infratil Ltd & the Commonwealth Superannuation Corp a 30-year concession on Wednesday for the net rental revenue from 9 on-campus purpose-built student accommodation residences, comprising about 3760 beds. The contract includes a 500-bed student residence that’s under construction (pictured).
Infratil said its 50% equity investment, settled yesterday, would cost it $A82.5 million, which the university will use to repay debt, help fund the proposed redevelopment of the Union Court open space and improve student services.
The concession includes responsibility for the provision of “hard” facilities management services such as building maintenance & lifecycle replacement, which the investors have sub-contracted to Spotless Group Holdings Ltd. HRL Morrison & Co Ltd will manage the investment. The university retains building ownership & responsibility for the delivery of “soft” facilities maintenance services, such as marketing & managing applications for the accommodation, processing rental agreements, cleaning internal areas & providing day-to-day pastoral care to residents.
Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski said the Australian National University portfolio stood out in the on-campus purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) sector in Australia in terms of both scale & quality: “PBSA is an emerging asset class supported by strong domestic & international demand growth for quality tertiary education. The concession agreement provides the consortium with a stable, long-term inflation-linked cashflow and rights & protections regarding the development of additional on-campus PBSA residences.”
Vice-chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said the agreement would enable the university to upgrade its student accommodation and help it meet the strong demand.
The arrangement follows a review of student accommodation and a survey of 4800 residential students in 2015, which found a pressing need to upgrade existing facilities and build more student accommodation.
5000 students live in student accommodation, but about 1500 more were unable to find university accommodation this year. The investment & management agreement follows the announcement by philanthropists Graham & Louise Tuckwell of plans to build 2 new halls of residence for 800 students.
Attribution: Company & university releases.