PHOTO: Wee Hur is planning a major transformation of this Redfern BP station. Photo: Savills Australia
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A Singaporean developer has splashed $46.1 million on a Sydney service station and is planning to build a purpose-built student accommodation facility on the Redfern site, in the latest indication of increased positive sentiment around Australian education.
Singapore-headquartered Wee Hur Holdings acquired the BP Service Station at 104-116 Regent Street in Redfern, with the intention of building a 384-bed student accommodation facility.
Brokered by Savills Australia’s Stuart Cox, Neil Cook and Johnathon Broome, the deal coincides with predictions from Chinese buyer platform Juwai IQI’s predictions that international students are likely to swiftly come back to Australia once borders open.
It is also the latest in a string of transactions for Wee Hur, which has acquired eight sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane, where it is planning to create student accommodation precincts.
In August, the developer announced to the Singapore Exchange that its development pipeline would cost around $933 million, with its portfolio to comprise between 4,000 and 5,000 student beds.
Already operational are its 1,578-bed Unilodge Park Central Brisbane and UniLodge City Gardens in Adelaide, while projects in Melbourne and Adelaide are under construction.
Intergen Property Group managing director Dennis Kalofonos, who is working with Wee Hur to acquire additional sites across Australia, said Wee Hur’s plans for Redfern would help establish the suburb as one of the city’s most sought after student accommodation precincts.
Wee Hur is planning two additional student accommodation facilities in Redfern, capitalising on the suburb’s proximity to the University of Sydney and the University of Technology.
In total, Wee Hur’s plans for Redfern comprise around 1,300 student beds.
“Student accommodation is about to bounce back quickly post-COVID and Wee Hur is well placed the capitalise on the revival of this sector and the economy through its timely development and operation of centrally located student accommodation facilities in Australia’s major capital cities,” Mr Kalofonos said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian developer UEM Sunrise Berhad recently sold a $125 million serviced apartment facility in Melbourne to Australia’s biggest student accommodation player Scape.
The apartments are located in Melbourne’s tallest building, the $800 million, 88-storey mixed use Aurora Melbourne Central tower.
Scape acquired 252 serviced apartments at Aurora from UEM Sunrise, in a deal brokered by Colliers International’s Trent Hobart.
The accommodation provider said it would bring the project to market in late January, targeting students, graduates, travellers and professionals looking for a premium serviced apartment offering.
UEM Sunrise managing director Anway Syahrin Abdul Ajib said Scape’s offering would enhance the existing Aurora community.
“This significant settlement in challenging market conditions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to the quality and unparalleled location of our Aurora Melbourne Central development,” Mr Syahrin said.