The University of Tasmania is finalising land deals required for campus developments in Hobart and Launceston, buying the K&D Warehouse site in Melville Street as the last major component of its southern campus strategy.
It also is advanced in negotiations on a significant land parcel in Launceston as part of the finalisation of the Inveresk campus approach.
The final bid for the K&D site was lodged late Friday afternoon, following a University Council decision to shift the weight of its Hobart campus into the CBD over the next 10 to 15 years.
The proposed city-centric campus will run from the original home of the University at the Domain, along Melville Street. The campus will be anchored with a central library and public square – the heart of the University – on the former Webster building and carpark.
The K&D site will house student accommodation, funded through the University’s partnership with investment consortium, Spark. The arrangement with Spark ensures private investment meets the need for accommodation, while University resources remain devoted to teaching and research.
The site also will be home to green space and teaching and learning facilities.
University spokesperson Jason Purdie said the project would meet future demand for student accommodation, adding capacity to the existing 446-bed Hobart City Apartments (at the corner of Elizabeth and Melville streets) and a second 420-bed complex being built adjacent those, due for completion at the start of 2021.
“We have had a strategy to meet the foreseen demand in student accommodation in recent years,” Mr Purdie said. “This purchase will mean we are well-placed to meet our needs for the years ahead.
“We knew a third accommodation complex was going to be required and the location of the K&D site could not be more ideal in the context of the University campus as it develops along Melville Street.
“The placement of these three main sites will ensure a dynamic flow of student life in and around the campus, adding to that of our staff and the broader community.
“It will ensure a strong sense of life and energy in the campus throughout the day and well into the evening.”
Mr Purdie said it was likely the University would look further afield for future accommodation developments.
“With increased density in the city and improvements in public transport, it is likely the next accommodation hubs will be elsewhere in greater Hobart. We look forward to working with municipalities such as Glenorchy to realise that future.”
Mr Purdie said the Launceston land parcel was part of a proposal to deal with parking and traffic management associated with the Inveresk development.
“We hope to be in a position to share that news with our community soon,” he said.