Students now have access to swanky new affordable accommodation in the heart ofAdelaide. The 15 storey, 24 million dollar ‘Globe Apartments’ were recently opened by South Australian Premier, Jay Weatheril. The quality apartment building situated in the vibrant Rundle Street East precinct is in walking distance from the city’s major universities.
The Globe grew out of the shared vision of Unity Housing Company a bankmecu customer and Hindmarsh Property. It offers 156 student beds in 78 two bedroom apartments. All are furnished and contain a full kitchen and balcony – many with magnificent views. Twenty-four hour on-site management is provided by UniLodgeAustralia.
‘The partnership model is the key to the project’s success’, says Matthew Woodward, Unity Housing’s CEO. Unity Housing owns 42 of the apartments which are rented out at less than 75 percent of the market rate with six of the units designated as ‘high needs’ properties. The latter creates new urban opportunities for students with disabilities. Unity Housing received funding from the State and Commonwealth governments through the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and secured $6.8 million in finance from bankmecu. Hindmarsh Property owns 36 apartments which it will sell on the private market.
Unity Housing is the largest affordable Housing organisation inSouth Australia and in the top twenty nation-wide. ‘We have grown exponentially in the last three years,’ says Mr Woodward, ‘rising from around 800 units of accommodation in 2008 to 1300 now. Last financial year we had $23 million in members equity and we have just completed $40 million worth of development under NRAS 1 & 2.’ Unity Housing plans to embark on a similar level of development under NRAS 4 in this year.
‘We hope this will be the first of a range of projects that we undertake with bankmecu’, says Mr Woodward. ‘This is our largest project to date and bankmecu had a genuine enthusiasm for what we were trying to achieve with affordable housing outcomes.’ A range of criteria had to be met in relation to the student accommodation and NRAS guidelines and despite the complexity Mr Woodward said he found bankmecu ‘easy to work with’.
‘The Globe is a very significant development for us’, says Mary McMenemy, bankmecu’s Regional Manager Adelaide. ‘It is the largest project we have funded since we established a presence in South Australia three years ago. bankmecu sees this as an important step in assisting the community in this state.’
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