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Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, announces today that it has reached financial close on a student accommodation project for the University of Wollongong in Australia. The project is the first of its kind in Australia and is similar to a public-private partnership (PPP). Balfour Beatty will invest AUS$28.3 million (50% of the required equity) to finance the AUS$250 million project.
The project comprises the design and construction of a 1,050 new bed development and a maintenance license for the University’s entire existing accommodation facilities, currently at 1905 beds. Balfour Beatty Investments’ role is as a sponsor and investor, working with local construction contractor, Hutchinson Builders and local asset management contractor, Programmed Facility Management, who will provide hard facilities management services for the 39 year concession period.
Expanding the student accommodation portfolio will allow the University to improve its competitive position and make the University of Wollongong a more attractive destination for regional, domestic and international students. The University believes that working with an experienced and world-class public infrastructure partner, Balfour Beatty Investments, will assist with the delivery of a superior accommodation experience for their students.
This is Balfour Beatty Investments’ first project to reach financial close in Australia, establishing a platform for future investment and development opportunities. Based out of Sydney, the Australia investments team will continue to identify opportunities for further investment in social and economic infrastructure.
Commenting today, Balfour Beatty Investments Chief Executive Officer, Ian Rylatt, said, “The Investments division has achieved considerable success in the student accommodation market, building a portfolio of 13 projects (including those currently at preferred bidder), which has generated significant value for the Group. We look forward to working in partnership with the University of Wollongong to support their future growth through the delivery of this ground breaking new project.”